Brazil: A Not-So-Smooth Transition

A Not-So-Smooth Transition

On the eve of his inauguration as Brazil's President on March 15, Tancredo Neves underwent emergency surgery for diverticulitis, an inflammation of the intestinal tract. The operation was judged a success, but five days later Neves was back in surgery. The second operation, last week, was to remove adhesions that prevented the bowel from functioning and caused a buildup of gas and swelling. Doctors predicted afterward that Neves, 75, would recover fully but slowly. One physician reportedly told the President-elect, "You need to get better." Replied Neves: "I don't need to. I must."

His countrymen would agree. Without the Great Conciliator,...

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