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US reacts cautiously to Salvador assembly choice

By With Analysis From Monitor Correspondents Around The World, Edited By Susan Garland / April 26, 1982


Continued US support for the government of El Salvador hinges on the success of liberal reforms and not the role of ultra-rightist leader Roberto D'Aubuisson , the State Department said, responding to the news that Mr. D'Aubuisson was chosen to head the country's new constituent assembly.

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The coalition of Mr. D'Aubuisson's National Republican Alliance and other rightists, who control 36 of the 60 seats in the assembly, selected nine of their representatives to leadership posts. The US-backed Christian Democrats of former President Jose Napoleon Duarte failed to win a leadership slot.

In San Salvador, US Ambassador Deane Hinton displayed a Soviet-model bomb detonator in the campaign to prove foreign support for Salvadoran leftist guerrillas. The fuse, found in a bomb which failed to explode in January at the Ilopango Air Base, was an original or a copy of a Soviet-made fuse, Mr. Hinton said. The USSR is apparently the only manufacturer of the detonator, he said. Insurgents in the Middle East and Namibia, backed by the Soviet Bloc, use the same kind of fuse, he said.