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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.


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?


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.”


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


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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