Brazil: Dangerous Week

For five days last week, Latin America's biggest and most advanced nation hung perilously on the brink of a civil war that no one wanted. In the name of democracy, one Brazilian army was ordered to attack another, which was determined to defend the constitution. A naval task force from the north steamed toward the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, and air force fighters dived low over bristling antiaircraft guns in the southern state capital of Porto Alegre. At the end of a confused and passionate week, the longing of Brazilians for stability seemed to give promise—though...

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