ARGENTINA: Night of Fire

A challenge hung in the air when Juan Perón stepped to his balcony and faced a throng of 100,000 in the Plaza de Mayo one day last week. The crowd wanted to hear what Perón proposed to do about Argentina's inflation and the nation's mounting economic crisis. So did cabinet members, top army officers and labor leaders lined up behind the President. Their appearance was a gesture of support, but each must have wondered whether Perón could still hypnotize the discontented.

Perón started lamely; the crowd was tepid. Then, in a plaza-edge restaurant 500 feet from the balcony, a bomb went...

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