El Salvador

El Salvador - The tragedy slowly spirals out of hand.

El Salvador
El Salvador – The tragedy slowly spirals out of hand.

February 1, 1982 – CBS World News Roundup-CBS Hourly News – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

February 1, 1982 – Between the situation in Gdansk, Poland and San Salvador in El Salvador, the Reagan White House Foreign Policy was being put to the test.

From Poland came the release of an obvious propaganda film called Let Poland Be Poland, where workers were portrayed as happy and not protesting – where all the current state of unrest could be laid at the feet of President Reagan and the best efforts of The Voice Of America to discredit whatever the current regime was placing on its people.

To the West, and in our own hemisphere, the situation in El Salvador was quickly spiraling out of hand as pitch battles between Contras and Sandinistas was threatening to dislodge any aspect of Peace the Central American country was enjoying up until now. the mounting tragedy was being emphasized in Washington where a Senate subcommittee was taking testimony by assistant Secretary of State Thomas Enders, and in San Salvador where a government search for guerrillas had led to more deaths and bloodshed. The military operation that left some 19 civilians dead the previous weekend, couldn’t have come at a worse time for El Salvador’s government or at a better time for the country’s guerrillas. Congress was scheduled to hold hearings this day and the next on the Human Rights situation in El Salvador, specifically the government’s respect for human rights, which was a condition for continued U.S. aid. The hearings coincided with a time the Reagan White House asked for a $300 million increase in economic and military aid to El Salvador over the next two years.

Critics of the administrations’s unstinting support of El Salvador’s Military Junta would undoubtedly point to the weekend’s death toll as evidence that the Human Rights situation had not improved.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this February 1, 1982 as reported by the CBS World News Roundup.

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