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The Latest: Opposition Reaction Muted to Noriega's Death

The Latest: Opposition Reaction Muted to Noriega's Death

Tuesday, 30 May 2017 05:12 AM

PANAMA CITY (AP) — The Latest on the death of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega (all times local):

4:00 a.m.

Aurelio Barria, who led the Civil Crusade (Cruzada Civilista) opposition movement that staged many street protests against Noriega's regime, says "his death ends a period that we should try not to forget so it is not repeated in Panama."

Surprisingly, Barria and other Noriega opponents stopped short of expressing harsh criticism of the former strongman who repressed their demonstrations and forced many into exile.

Carolina Cruz, a 65-year-old housewife, said "Noriega leaves open wounds."

Speaking to The Associated Press as she left a supermarket in the capital, Cruz adds: "Many died during his government, but he had deteriorated a lot and served many years in prison,"

Panama's streets were calm, without any demonstrations either in favor or against Noriega.

1:00 a.m.

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama's dictator by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that "the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history."

Varela added, "His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace."

Noriega ruled with an iron fist, ordering the deaths of those who opposed him and maintaining a murky, close and conflictive relationship with the United States.

At the apex of his power he wielded great influence outside the country as well thanks to longstanding relationships with spy agencies around the world, said R.M. Koster, an American novelist and biographer of Noriega who has lived in Panama for decades.

After his downfall, Noriega served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States, then was sent to face charges in France. He spent all but the last few months of his final years in a Panamanian prison for murder of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.

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The Latest on the death of former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega (all times local):4:00 a.m.Aurelio Barria, who led the Civil Crusade (Cruzada Civilista) opposition movement that staged many street protests against Noriega's regime, says "his death ends a period that we...
LT,Obit,Manuel Noriega,The Latest
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2017-12-30
Tuesday, 30 May 2017 05:12 AM
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