Just cause. Intervention in Panama 1989-90 (Concord 6503)
By Gordon Rottman, Dmitriy Zgonnik
Publisher: Concord Publications 2007 54 Pages
PDF 43 MB
The turmoil leading to the American intervention in Panama to oust the de facto ruler. General Manuel Antonio Noriega, began in early 1987. Reports of repeated human rights violations within Panama and increasing drug trafficking began eroding the support Noriega once enjoyed inside his country.
The United States had supported Noriega before he started abusing his power. He relied on the US for military and economic aid, which had begun to lift Panama to a leading power in Central America. The controversial Carter-Torrijos Treaty of 1978 took affect on 1 October 1979 and at that time the former Panama Canal Zone, up to then under complete US control, was dissolved. The US though still operated the Panama Canal through the Panama Canal Commission and maintained extensive military facilities throughout what had been the Zone. US Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM), a joint service command responsible for US armed forces operations and assistance throughout Latin America, was headquartered in Panama City as was US Army, South (USARSO). The US was still responsible for the defense of the Canal and had full right of access throughout what had been the former Canal Zone. The Canal would be turned over to Panamanian control on 31 December 2000 and all US armed forces would be withdrawn by then. Panama would then be responsible for the Canal's operation and security. New Year's Day 2000 would see Panamanian territory and the Canal under its complete control for the first time since 1903.