ALGERIA: The Triste Just Society

Fidel Castro was less than complimentary when Houari Boumedienne replaced Ahmed Ben Bella as leader of revolutionary Algeria seven years ago. "A pimp," was the Cuban Premier's unbowdlerized estimate of Boumedienne. "A reactionary gorilla." Last week, as Castro visited Algeria in the course of a two-month hegira through Africa and the East bloc, Boumedienne had become "a great strategist" and Algeria under his rule was "a just society."

As a determinedly socialist state with an overlay of stern Arab tradition —women have second-class status—Algeria may not necessarily be a just society. But it is an economically more viable one than...

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