This Is One Battle I Would Like To See The French Win

If you live in Panama, or are considering living in Panama, then you most likely are keeping up on the pending release of Manuel Antonio Noriega. Here is a URL to an article in the New York Times entitled “Our Man in Panama”, authored by Everett Ellis Briggs. Everett Ellis Briggs was the United States ambassador to Panama from 1982 to 1986, the ambassador to Honduras from 1986 to 1989, and a member of the National Security Council staff in 1989

This is a very good description of the events which led to Noriega’s rise in power and eventual removal from power. While he was supposed to be released today, he remains behind bars pending a potential extradition to France. While France is not known for its prowess in winning battles, this is one that I hope it wins.

Thanks to a Chiriquí Chatter reader for bringing this article to my attention.

4 thoughts on “This Is One Battle I Would Like To See The French Win

  1. I’ve read part of the Times article, “Our Man in Panama” posted on your site. Thanks for posting it, Don. I’ve got to settle down and finish it. But thought I’d pass along, – on the same subject – a fascinating (in my mind) non-fiction book I read a while back, about the U.S. and Noriega, during his time in power. Maybe other people have already heard of it, and read it. However, in case not, it’s titled:
    “Divorcing The Dictator”…”America’s Bungled Affair With Noriega”, by Frederick Kempe, published in 1990 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons.

    Kemp is a reporter who was, at the time, a diplomatic correspondent for The Wall Street Journal. The book chronicles the (I think entire) period of Noriega’s time in power, in great depth. I’m definitely planning to read it again. One read was not sufficient for me to grasp the full import of that time, the numerous characters, the intense political rivalries, the complex web of alliances. Nor the horrifying atrocities committed, and overlooked or dismissed by the U.S. government because of its own agendas in the region. Noriega was “our” man.
    Quite a read.

    When my husband and I visited Panama two years ago, we stayed for a few days at a small hostel/bed & breakfast place – “Casa de Carmen”, in Panama city. Virginia, the proprietor, told us the story of how she and her mother and grandmother hid in one of the bedrooms of the house when the Americans launched their final “invasion” to extract Noriega from power. She was a small child at the time, but the memories are vivid. “Casa de Carmen” was her family’s/grandmother’s house. Quite something to hear a first hand tale of events.


  2. Yes. Thank you. Virginia talked about seeing the bodies on the street outside her house, both Panamanian and U.S. …What a thing, seeing that at that young age. Bad enough to have that branded on your brain as an adult, much less as a young child. I’m certain more stories will emerge.

    Also read another depressingly excellent non-fiction book, “Walking Ghosts”,… about Columbia. Don’t have the detailed info/author at my fingertips right now, as I got it from the library, but, if anyone’s interested, will research & give more details. I think I have to buy that one, as well.

    P.S. on a totally, self-critiquing-neurotic note, I write,… therefore I edit and critique. So it makes me crazy when I re-read my own stuff and see … for instance, ( por ejemplo) “horrifying atrocities” …sorry sorry sorry… an oxy moron’s oxymoron.
    Nuf from me. Be well. Take care.
    – Charlotte

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