The World: Mixing Oil and Politics

Ecuador's President, José Maria Velasco Ibarra, 78, holds a record of sorts; he has been elected five times since 1934, and has been ousted from power four times (he finished one term of office in the mid-1950s). Recently he called for free elections next June that would bring an end to his two-year dictatorship. But one night last week, the Ecuadorian army quietly deposed Velasco and sent him into exile, replacing him with a junta headed by General Guillermo Rodríguez Lara.

The army was apparently afraid that the winner of the election—and the next President—would be the radical, Syrian-born former mayor...

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