Argentina The Painted Faces

Lose Face By decisively putting down a military revolt, Menem saves the day -- and a Bush visit as well

President Carlos Saul Menem was still awake in the presidential palace at 3 a.m., following a late dinner with friends, when aides informed him that rebel soldiers had stormed army headquarters in downtown Buenos Aires, just a cannon shot away. The insurgents had also seized the nearby coast-guard building and three other installations. For Menem the timing could hardly have been worse. He knew that if he did not act fast, George Bush, who was in the midst of a South American goodwill tour, was likely to cancel his visit to Argentina -- to the deep embarrassment of Menem and his...

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