I Was Really Worried

Shortly after his bold and historic visit to La Palma, José Napoleón Duarte talked for nearly an hour with TIME Mexico City Bureau Chief Harry Kelly, Correspondent Ricardo Chavira and Reporter J. T. Johnson at the presidential palace in San Salvador. He was at times eloquent, and at times surprising, as he offered his own views about what had happened, and why. Excerpts:

What led you to believe people were ready for a dialogue with the F.M.L.N.?

You have to remember that since I took office, I said that I had my own timetable....

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