Diplomacy: The Dialogue Begins

Once in May and again in August, the conference had to be postponed because of the flaring civil war in the Dominican Republic. Now at last 800 delegates from 19 nations converged on Rio's ancient Hotel Gloria for the Second Special Inter-American Conference of the Organization of American States. The object was to assess the role of the 17-year-old OAS in a rapidly changing hemisphere. And that was something that badly needed doing. "There are several Pandora's boxes here," said an OAS official, "any one of which contains vast numbers of insects."

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