The Hemisphere: President's Decision

Military Strongman Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, who has promised to hold free elections in 1958, made it clear last week that he will keep the lid on normal politics until then. In a state-of-the-nation radio speech, the President declared that "electoral noise-making" now would only reopen the "locks of hatred," i.e., the four-year civil war between Conservatives and Liberals that he ended in 1953. His notably un-noisy conclusion: the state of siege that has suspended constitutional liberties for the past five years "will not be abolished while I am in power."

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