Manuel Noriega

Dictator of Panama

Profile of Noriega

Manuel Antonio Noriega Morena was the most ruthless dictator in Panama's history. Born on February 11, 1934, Noriega spent the first two or so decades going to military school and was a very good soldier in his early 20's. Noriega was commissioned to the National Guard in 1967 and in 1968 he was promoted to lieutenant the year after. In the next couple of years, he ran campaigns against guerillas in Panama and is even accused of causing "disappearances" to his political opponents, and became the most feared man in the country. in 1983, he took control of Panama and was involved in many corrupt activities, like election fraud, drug trafficking, and more. He also murdered more political opponents and tortured/killed and opposition, including innocent civilians with his military. In 1989, Noriega canceled his country's elections and attempted to rule through a "puppet government". Finally, in 1990, the United States had enough of the cruel dictatorship Noriega was implementing in Panama and invaded the country. In January of 1990, Noriega surrendered, was out as the leader of Cuba, and went to prison until 2007.

My Visual on Noriega

The piece of propaganda that I chose shows Noriega controlling figures that represent the army and people pertaining to his government. Noriega is controlling the military and the people of his government as if they were puppets and they have to do everything that he says without question. This photo shows how ruthless of a leader Noriega really was and how much sole power he had throughout his country as dictator. The text below the photo says that the soldiers and public of the government say no to absolute power by dictator and his control of the army, but yes to a democratic government and yes to the supports of popular will. Finally, the propaganda, most likely created by upset citizens of Panama, shows Noriega through a negative light and that Panama needs to get rid of the dictatorship Noriega has implemented in Panama since 1983.
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Creative Piece

December 20th, 1989

Dear Journal,

It's been six long and cruel years in Panama since Manuel Noriega took over as the leader in my beloved country. I have a feeling that his reign of terror will soon come to an end, and I am hoping that it does. Since Noriega became the leader of this once great nation, he has brought nothing but corruption and trouble to our nation. He has smuggled countless drugs, has murdered tens of thousands of innocent Panamanian citizens, and has hurt this country politically, economically, and socially. Noriega has given a bad reputation to the name "Panama", and I will not feel completely safe and comfortable until, he is out of office and out of this country. Hopefully that day comes very quickly, but if it doesn't, I guess I'll just have to wait nervously.

Essential Question

How did Noriega's negative actions/atrocities as dictator impact the people of Panama and the U.S. as a country? Name at least two examples for each