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May 13, 1984 – ABC World News This Week – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
May 13, 1984 – Olympics were in the headlines this week in May of 1984. Citing “security issues”, the Soviet Union declined involvement in the 1984 Summer Olympics, being held in Los Angeles over the summer. Reactions ranged from shrugged shoulders to smashed dreams. Many accused the Soviets of playing tit-for-tat, citing the U.S. boycott of the 1980 Olympics in Moscow as protest for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan for the turn-about on Russian parts. Others felt it was an exchange of embarrassments for the U.S. boycott in 1980 – Russia was hoping to offer up revenge by instead touting a Red Olympics; competing games featuring Russia and other Eastern bloc countries around the same time as the games were taking place in Los Angeles. The reaction however was the same for the athletes- disappointment and fear it would mean the death-knell for any Olympics in the future.
Meanwhile, as President Reagan distanced himself from the controversy, there were other issues taking center stage at The White House. The issue of money coming from the U.S. to aid the Contras fighting in Nicaragua and El Salvador. Again, it was the old Domino theory of Latin American nations falling under Communist influence and the imperative for U.S. support. Although there was divided opinion as to why the U.S. should be footing the bill, monies were eventually made available for the Contras to continue. Salvadorans did go to the polls this week, electing moderate Napoleon Duarte for President. He was opposed by Roberto d’Aubuisson, a conservative. By weeks end, Duarte got 54% of the vote in what was considered an unprecedented turnout of voters.
And in The Hauge, a ruling from the World Court on U.S. involvement in the mining of Nicaraguan ports and harbors. Nicaragua took the case to The Hague who issued a lengthy decision which asked the U.S. to both cease and refrain from any action restricting access to or from Nicaraguan ports and in particular the laying of mines.
And that’s a small slice of what happened, this week ending May 13, 1984 as reported by ABC Radio’s World News This Week.