In video 8 we learned that former President Bush had declared Panama had been freed and that Democracy had been restored. Named Operation Just Cause, the United States military campaign was condemned throughout the region as a violation of Panama's sovereignty and their right as a nation to determine who was legitimately in charge. This was one of the latest interventions by the United States in the Caribbean. This military action was an obvious threat to the self-government of Panama.
The US government had known that Noriega was involved in drug trafficking since at least 1972. It was then when the Nixon administration considered assassinating him. But he stayed on the CIA payroll. In 1983, a US Senate committee concluded that Panama was a major center for the laundering of drug funds and drug trafficking. .
The US government continued to value Noriega's services. In May 1986, the Director of the Drug Enforcement Agency praised Noriega for his "vigorous anti-drug trafficking policy."" A year later, the Director "welcomed our close association- with Noriega, while Attorney-General Edwin Meese stopped a US Justice Department investigation of Noriega's criminal activities. In August 1987, Elliott Abrams, the State Department official in charge of U.S. policy in Central America and Panama, opposed a Senate resolution condemning Noriega. .
And yet, when Noriega was finally indicted in Miami in 1988, all the charges except one were related to activities that dated back before 1984, when he was our boy, helping with the U.S. war against Nicaragua. Helping to steal elections that the United States approved. He was serving U.S. interests more than satisfactorily. It had nothing to do with suddenly discovering that he was a gangster and a drug-peddler, we had known this all along. .
Noriega made one mistake, instead of just robbing the poor; he began to interfere with the freedoms of the rich, which elicited opposition from business leaders.