Rhodesia: The Tobacco Curtain

RHODESIA The Tobacco Curtain

When the British declared their array of embargoes against rebellious Rhodesia, the moment of truth that would bring down Ian Smith's white regime was expected to arrive when the tobacco crop came in—and the nation's tobacco farmers would find themselves unable to sell it. Smith had other ideas, however, and they emerged last week when the annual five-month tobacco auction opened in Salisbury.

To beat the international ban on Rhodesian tobacco, Smith threw a tight security net around the normally raucous auction sheds, cut prices and offered wildcat buyers guarantees of absolute secrecy. Gone were...

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