VENEZUELA: Skipper of the Dreamboat

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Westward out of Caracas, a speeding convoy of official limousines and patrol cars snaked down the winding, concrete Pan American Highway. From the back seat of a Cadillac limousine, a short, rotund man in khaki took in the fleeting sights: trucks piled high with sugar cane, drowsy town plazas seared to a dry-season brown, the jet air base near Maracay, and scenic Lake Valencia, a shimmering turquoise in a chartreuse valley. But most of the time Colonel Marcos Pérez Jiménez, President of Venezuela, eyed a low, sleek, two-seater Mercedes-Benz sports...

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