Buying Friends And Influencing Destiny – May 20, 1984
Click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – May 20, 1984 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection
It wouldn’t be the 80s without El Salvador and this May 20th in 1984 was no different.
Flush from his victory in the election, Salvadoran President-elect José Napoleón Duarte went to Washington, first to have a chat with President Reagan and then to Capitol Hill where he was scheduled to deliver an address, lobbying for Military Aid to El Salvador, amid fears that Central American nation would be the next in line for some heavy Cuban influence.
Needless to say, we know how that story ended. But at the time, all seemed on the up-and-up with only hints at CIA influence in the elections and their role in the Civil War that continued to rage. Duarte was looking for $62 million in U.S. Aid and, even though Reagan was for it, Duarte had to make the sales pitch to Congress and, if need be, to the American people.
The Human Rights situation in El Salvador had many, including the United Nations, concerned over what were horrific atrocities being committed by government forces to the tune of some 40,000 civilians murdered there since the civil war broke out in 1979. Amnesty International issued a report, concluding there was no evidence to show the situation had been improved at all, and in fact the Salvadoran Justice system had collapsed.
And The Persian Gulf was another blazing hotspot, with accusations of Iranian attacks on suspected shipping of oil from Iraq reaching the crisis point. The Iraqis, for their part, were busy attacking suspected Iranian Oil tankers and this was cause for the neighboring Gulf states to seek some solution to the problem, as they were all becoming involved in it with Saudi and Kuwaiti tankers under attack from Iranian forces, who were viewed by Tehran as siding with the Iraqis in the ongoing war.
A mess of a day – and there was a lot more to it, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup for May 20, 1984 – thirty years ago today.