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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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was so angry he wouldn't even say good-night to me, and he certainly didn't show up at the reception afterwards.

But all this means, to try to answer your question -- It didn't mean that the country had suddenly become anti-Reagan at all. But it did mean that at least there were lots of people, in this case mostly young people, who really saw through the Reagan sham.

Q:

You were also writing a lot about Reagan's increased use of militarism in Latin America and other parts of the world. Were you traveling around to do these?

Oakes:

Was I? Well, during this period I was -- yes, it was still in the '80s, while Reagan was President. Oh, sure, I did a lot of traveling. I made one visit to South Africa, landing in Johannesburg the very day -- by accident, by coincidence -- that a new, emergency decree was put in by the government, in response to the disturbances already there. I think that was somewhere in the late 1980s, and I spent, with my wife, about a week talking to everybody we could in South Africa, including, of course, black leaders, black leadership and government leadership, everyone from Archbishop [Desmond] Tutu to ultra- conservative Boer spokesman to white liberals, from Cape Town to Pretoria to a couple of “homelands.”

Q:

Were you meeting with ANC [African National Congress] people, or who were you meeting with?

Oakes:

Yes. The answer is yes, and I wrote about this in some subsequent Op-Ed pieces. But more precisely, to answer your question in the context in which you asked it, after the



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