Cheney In Manila – February 19, 1990

Defense Secretary Cheney - making friends wherever he goes.

Defense Secretary Cheney – making friends wherever he goes.

. . .or click on the link here for Audio Player – CBS World News Roundup – February 19, 1990 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection.

Busy day, this February 19th in 1990.

Defense Secretary Dick Cheney was busy being snubbed by Philippines President Corazon Aquino and yelled at by protestors in the streets of Manila. Nevertheless, he continued talks on this day with other members of the Aquino government, pledging the Bush Administration would stick to its commitment to the Philippines – and no, the U.S. bases weren’t going anywhere. Cheney cut his visit short and headed off to Japan.

And in Japan it was a case of “meet the new Boss – same as the old Boss” with a return of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to power in election returns. Despite a legacy of sex and money scandals, the party defied the odds and maintained control of the powerful lower House of Parliament, overcoming an unpopular sales tax and yet another sex scandal. Voters looked at the possibilities of a new party in power and said “not yet”, even though opposition Socialist Party did make significant gains, but mostly at the expense of smaller opposition parties. And even the LDP rode to victory, it was not considered a mandate and its grip on power was weakened in the election. And Defense Secretary Dick Cheney was heading to Tokyo.

And ground was broken for an Interfaith prayer center near the former Auschwitz Death Camp in Poland. It would also include a convent for Carmelite Nuns, whose continued presence in a home a mile away beside the camp wall has been a cause of friction between the Catholic Church and Jewish groups.

And debate continued just a month ahead of East Germany’s first free elections over what sort of military alliance might follow reunification. Some feared a NATO presence might extend all the way to the Polish border, while others thought neutrality would work best. Either way, all believed reunification would become a fact of life.

All the talk and comments about the possibilities of reunification included Czech Playwright Vaclav Havel, who endorsed the idea and said he was all for reunification as long as it meant being a Democratic entity and not a totalitarian one. Havel was heading to Washington, after a visit to Canada, to discuss ideas ahead of a Czech election, which Havel was being pressured to participate in and campaign for President. Havel was expected to address a Joint Session of Congress while he was in the U.S.

And the possibilities of a nightmare scenario was talked about today. Word came via the Washington Times of disclosure by intelligence sources of a recent development in Azerbaijan, where Muslim fundamentalists stormed a nuclear weapons stockpile near Baku, almost capturing a nuclear weapon.

All this, and a lot more for this February 19th in 1990, as reported by The CBS World News Roundup.

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