June 30, 1983 – Message From Cardinal Glemp – Guatemala’s Furtive Glimpse Of Democracy
June 30, 1983 – Hopeful messages and unsure ones. Beginning with the arrival in Rome of Cardinal Glemp of Warsaw. Glemp came with a message to Pope John Paul II, saying he thought Martial Law would soon be lifted and that there may be a major new role for the Vatican in restoring economic and political order in Poland. Cardinal Glemp said negotiations between the Church and Government in Poland had progressed on the establishment of a foundation to funnel money from the West into Polish agriculture. A Bishop traveling with Glemp put it another way, saying the government had given the plan the Green Light. Sources in Rome said the plan was to establish, what the Vatican called a “development bank” for Polish Agriculture. But Glemp indicated there were still some legal problems to be worked out. The Polish Cardinal discounted reports that progress had been made in discussions to set up a new Trade Union, under Church patronage. Glemp claimed he had never heard anything like that and added it wasn’t good to talk about a new Union because the other one wasn’t finished. Glemp went on to say that no decision on what Lech Walesa‘s role was going to be, as discussions were still ongoing.
And after a taste of civil liberties and press freedom that lasted only three months, Guatemalans were once again living under a state of Emergency. That meant the Army could once again pull people out of their cars, search their homes, haul them off to jail without having to give so much as a reason. Guatemalan President General Rios Mont found out that, if you give people a chance to speak out or organize politically, they would do so. During that three month glimpse of Democracy, over a dozen political parties popped up,most of them critical of the government. The flirtation with Civil Liberties ended when a Colonel suggested on television that Rios Mont resign. And for the past several days there were rumors circulating of a coup. If that was so, it would be from the same people who installed him as President in the first place. It was speculated that a coup would probably not produce much bloodshed, or change for that matter.
And that’s just a small sample of what went on in the world, this June 30, 1983 as presented by The CBS World News Roundup, Newsbreak and the 9:00 am network news.