Central America: Appointment in La Palma

With a bold offer, Duarte reaches out to El Salvador's rebels

The stratagem was risky, audacious—and brilliant in its simplicity. In a few sentences uttered before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City last week, Salvadoran President José Napoleón Duarte pierced the psychological curtain that has divided his nation through nearly five years of civil war. During a 55-min. address, the stocky, dynamic Christian Democrat announced that he would travel unarmed to meet with his Marxist-Leninist foes, the guerrilla commanders of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (F.M.L.N.). At the meeting,...

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