Idi Aman.

By the time this journal is in its readers' hands, the American Congress may have been called upon to decide whether Uganda's coffee should be barred from entering the United States. Its decision will hold great importance for Uganda, for the United States, and for the international system. At stake will be the issue of whether or not the richest and most powerful of sovereign states is justified in using its economic power unilaterally to force the government of a smaller and weaker state to alter the way it treats its own subjects. The questions raised come cascading forward: Why should rich North Americans interfere in the internal affairs of a poor African state? How would that interference relate to other American interests and policies - in Africa and elsewhere? What is the larger significance for the international system of such use of an economic instrument - a coffee boycott

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  • Richard H. Ullman is a member of the Editorial Board of The New York Times. Until July 1977, he was Professor of International Affairs at Princeton University and Director of the 1980s Project at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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