Untold History of Manuel Noriega by Damon CorrieTweet
I spent an incredible 2-weeks in Panama, visited with Kuna and Embera Tribal Nation brothers and sisters, and met folks who knew details of people and events – never reported in mainstream media before, read below my very condensed findings:
We were ALL told (by US media mostly) how ‘Evil’ former President of Panama – Manuel Noriega was, never told a single word of any good he ever did…..but dozens of native tribal leaders told me that they remember President Noriega driving around the countryside in convoys giving out medicines, money and food donations to native families in need, in some cases he even bought vehicles for natives who needed them the most…..’President Noriega was a good man to us, his problem was that he did not want to let go of power, because he feared the business class who never thought a poor brown man like him should ever lead the country – would restore the colonial style status quo; with the rich dominating Panamanian society and ignoring the poor”….this was what most native leaders repeated to me all over Panama.
President Noriega also sent native students abroad to study on Government sponsorships, we are never told about that either.
“Sounds a lot like President Hugo Chavez” I replied to them, and a very different picture of the ‘Drug dealing tyrant’ image American media painted of this man in the minds of the world public.
All we hear about Noriega in the western media is that he was a ‘drug smuggler’…so what about Noriega’s involvement in drugs – I asked….”Noriega was not the one who set up the drug smuggling operations in Panama, he just knew they existed and maybe took money from the ones behind it to let it continue uninterrupted, if you want to know more about Cocaine smuggling through Panama before his time, during his time – and after his time…go and ask the CIA”…I was told.
Several aging native men who used to work at American military bases claimed special planes came and went all the time from various American bases throughout Latin America (including Panama) loaded with Cocaine, as they were immune from search by the authorities of the countries in which their bases were located…I asked also about the American invasion of Panama and the claim that shortages ’caused’ by Noriega precipitated the public rising up against him. I was informed: “There WERE indeed shortages in his last days, but these were NOT caused by Noriega, but by the American blockade of Panama to get rid of Noriega, the Americans used their military forces to stop goods from reaching Panama and the business community in Panama that always opposed Noriega for being from a lower socio-economic class background – collaborated with the Americans to make shortages as acute as possible, meanwhile in the homes of the upper classes they lacked for nothing that the poor were being denied…..as soon as Noriega was overthrown and removed by the Americans – these same business community elites and leaders suddenly became the new Government Ministers of Panama – as the American Government wanted. The USA claims ‘only’ 500 Panamanians died during their ‘Operation Just Cause’ invasion, but their own puppet installed government said 2,000….and Panamanian NGO’s who registered all the persons who disappeared without a trace during the bombardment – reached a figure of over 10,000….none of whom were from any middle or upper class areas…only poor communities felt the wrath of American bombs and missiles (Noriega’s support was in the poor communities).
Many Panamanians also described acts of looting by the American troops we thought were so ‘disciplined’….”We use American dollars here in Panama so it was the same money the American soldiers used, so they emptied every store cash register and safe they found and put that money in their pockets during their occupation of Panama”….I heard from multiple sources in the city.
I am NOT saying President Noriega was without sin or blood on his hands – but is he responsible for more death and evil in the world than President Bush #1 or #2? Yet you do not hold these American Presidents who have FAR MORE GUILT on their conscience and blood on their hands – to the same level of contempt as you do President Noriega….and I AM saying this is a mental double-standard of media induced perception that YOU need to come to grips with.
Here is the American glorified version of the invasion:
Here is the non-glorified version if you can stomach the ugly truth: