CENTRAL AMERICA: Invitation Extended

When historians eventually fix the place and time of the Republic of Panama's change from a Bolivarian nation* to a Central American nation, they may well decide on an offhand conference held one day last week at a grey clapboard customs house on the border between Costa Rica and Panama. The conferees: Panama's President Ricardo ("Dickie") Arias, in mustard-colored slacks and a brown sports jacket, and Costa Rica's José ("Pepe") Figueres, in shirtsleeves and loosened tie.

In casual contrast to the bejeweled pomp of the strongmen's council in Peru (see above), Arias and Figueres, with their Foreign Ministers, sat down...

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