Central America: Unfortunate Throwback

Aided by the Alliance for Progress and a strong infusion of private investment, Central America's five nations are enjoying unprecedented economic prosperity (TIME, Jan. 1). Politically, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua seem headed toward more or less representative governments, and Costa Rica has become a model constitutional republic. But there is one unfortunate throwback to the old era of machine-gun politics when O. Henry described Central America as a collection of "little opéra bouffe nations that play at government and intrigue."

Honduras held elections last week for the first time in seven years, ostensibly to choose a constituent assembly to...

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