March 14,1983 – Busy news day. In London, OPEC Ministers were gathering in the hopes of coming up with a benchmark oil price of $29.00 a barrel and new production quotas. Of the 13 only Venezuela had not signaled agreement because it would have to take a smaller piece of the pie. The compromise was not an easy for Venezuela, who had been trying to renegotiate $9 billion in debt. They were the only OPEC country being forced to give away actual production, while other countries have not been producin up to the quotas they’ve been assigned. Saudi Arabia agreed to a lower production quota, but it will act as a “swing producer” producing more or less, depending on demand. There was some fear the benchmark $29.00 price wouldn’t hold, but OPEC was confident the oil market would stabilize.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill – The administrations request for more aid to El Salvador went up for more hearings this day. State Department and Pentagon officials were going before the Senate Foreign Relations sub-Committee to promote the administrations case for an extra $110 million in military aid for El Salvador. They will argue the money is needed quickly to train and equip government troops, now hard-pressed to control leftist guerrillas. Congressional critics wanted any new aid tied to human rights and political reforms in El Salvador, saying democracy wasn’t going to be achieved if it was gotten from the barrel of a gun.
And Zimbabwe Opposition leader Joshua Nkomo arrived in London and was quickly whisked away to an undisclosed location. He arrived in London the previous day, insisting he was not in exile, but saying he will go home just as soon as he got some assurances from Robert Mugabe that he wouldn’t be killed.
And that’s a very small slice of what went on this busy news day, March 14, 1983 – as presented by The CBS World News Roundup, Hourly News and Newsnotes and Comment from Charles Kuralt.