Argentina: Neither Justice nor Oil

President Arturo Illia, 64, was barely in office last fall when he summarily annulled 13 contracts with the foreign oil companies—including nine U.S.

firms—that had made Argentina virtually self-sufficient in oil. Illia claimed that the contracts, signed between 1958 and 1960 under deposed President Arturo Frondizi, hurt the Argentine national oil company, and were illegal to boot. "But no one need be alarmed," he said. "Justice will be done." Last week, the private oilmen were still working for justice and a fair settlement. The country's state-run oil company, which took over the foreign holdings, has been unable to keep pace...

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