Argentina Time of Trial

A situation "under control"

Argentine President Raul Alfonsin appeared angry and fatigued when he addressed a national television audience from the presidential residence last week. His assertion was startling: his political enemies had tried to involve high-ranking military officers in planning a coup d'etat. Leaning across his desk, the President reassured his countrymen: "The situation is under control by the constitutional government." Alfonsin urged Argentines to rally "in defense of democracy," a call that was answered at week's end by an estimated 170,000 people gathered in Buenos Aires.

The President's critics dismissed the charges as an attempt to win public sympathy before announcing tough economic...

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