Manuel Noriega

Dictator of Panama

Big image
The son of an accountant and a maid, Manuel A. Noriega was born in 1934 in Panama CIty. Although he dreamt of becoming a doctor, his financial status drove him to obtain an engineering degree at the Peruvian Military Academy. He then returned to Panama and was commissioned a sub-lieutenant in the national guard. Noriega then gained the trust of the leader during that time, Omar Torrijos. During an attempted coup, Torrijo's plane could not land due to the lack of lights on the landing strip. Luckily, Noriega lined up motor cars across the landing strip in order for them to land safely. Shortly afterwards, he became useful to the U.S. as a source of intelligence and even rescued two american citizens from Havana under custody of Fidel Castro. He also headed narcotic trafficking through Panama. In 1981, Torrijos died in a plane crash, starting a power struggle between the military and the general population of Panama. In the end, Noriega came out on top and became the new dictator of Panama. He then went on to force Nicolas Ardito Barlette out of office for threatening to expose Noriega's drug trafficking operations. This came about after the tortured and decapitated body of Hugo Spadafora, another who attempted to expose Noriega's drug trafficking. He used G-2 agents to handle his dirty work when it came to silencing those who opposed him. He then went on to obtain sensitive and classified documents from the U.S. which he supplied to the Cubans. He went on to continue drug trafficking, gun-running, money-laundering, and being a double agent. Though, the U.S. did not act upon his wrong doings because he was useful. Once his actions were called upon by civilians, he issued a national emergency. This suspended constitutional rights, closed newspapers/radio stations, and sent his political enemies into exile. A special riot squad, nicknamed the Dobermans, were sent into Diez Herrara's home. Herrara was the cause of the outspoken disdain towards Noriega.
60 Minutes - Manuel Noriega (1988)
This interview of Manuel Noriega discussing the accusations against his drug trafficking coming to light in the United States. The interviewer continuously asks Manuel about his criminal acts and how he feels about how the U.S. now views him. His desperation to keep the attention of the matter off of him becomes very apparent as the interview progresses. As the interviewer questions Noriega about his drug trafficking, he quickly turns attention onto his accusations about the United States supposedly breaking a treaty with Panama. This becomes very repetitive as the video goes on and only proves that Noriega is a criminal dictator that only cares about his image.

The Panama Journey

A was born not knowing a mother

Both my parents gave up

And gave me to another

I dreamed of becoming doctor

To help those that would suffer

But my financials would not cover

The cost

So that dream was lost

Now I sit on my throne

Thinking of how could I have known

I would go down in history

As a man who created such murder scenes

Along with forged a false democracy

And all the drugs that passed by me

This isn't who I planned to be

He who taught me, who made me better

I always saw him flying past

I tried to keep him off the ground forever

But I couldn't save him from the crash

Although I couldn't save him

I'll carry his legacy on

But I became a man with many faces

And soon that legacy was gone

I was so wrapped up in my head

I caused

Riots and killings

All wrapped in espionage

I saw myself as invincible to the states

But that was untrue

My fate

That I never knew

I would go down in history

As a man who created such murder scenes

Along with a forged democracy

And all the drugs that passed by me

This isn't who I planned to be

Why does Manuel Noriega go on to accuse the United States of wrong doings while his actions are questioned?