Operation Just Cause – Panama

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On December 20 of 1989, 26,000 U. S. troops invaded Panama in ‘‘Operation Just Cause’’ to expel and capture the country’s strong man, the former general Manuel Antonio Noriega and destroy his military. No honest Panamanian, no human being can be indifferent to the horror of war, one can justify the thousands of dead innocent civilians. ‘Forget Prohibited’’ as many Panamanians says for this day, the world’s most powerful country United States of North America, economic and military power was the right throw unwarranted. No declaration of war, to attack and invade a small country of 2 million inhabitants in that time. At 21 years of this momentous event in Latin American history, its consequences are still manifest in Panamanian society, especially among the thousands affected by psychological and physical wounds of war.

This gets worse to the extent that various governments and institutions, which must ensure the general welfare of the population, have thrown a blanket of forgetfulness and sustained plan to erase the tragedy of the invasion, leaving victims with no chance to confront what happened and overcome their trauma through truth: loss of relatives, spouses, children, parents, grandparents, friends, homes, careers, business, social, lifestyle, and neighborhoods.

Does not even know for certain the number of deads and missings from this military intervention, in which civilians were the most affected and the perpetrators put the victims as the perpetrators. Our deads are still demanding justice to such a brutal and unjustifiable action. Burned and destroyed neighborhoods in the capital, and left a death toll that was never known with certainty. The invasion began after midnight on December 20, 1989, the U. S. Army, the world’s most powerful country, invaded on the pretext of overthrowing a dictator. Since then Panama City became a battlefield. Panama became a testing ground for advanced military technology that the U. S. used in the Persian Gulf War. The Bombing of Panama City was impressive, considering that Panama hadn’t an important Air Force, or radars, or anti-defense air, but the bombing was intended to soften the positions of the Panamanian army.

According to the Institute of Geosciences of the University of Panama, in the metropolitan area gave a total of 417 highly destructive explosions in the first 14 hours of December 20, 1989. Americans especially savaged Barrio El Chorrillo, which live about 25 thousand people and was located where the Central Headquarters of the Panamanian Defense Force, being the neighborhood completely bombed and burned almost completely. The American soldiers called him Chorrillo, ” Little Hiroshima”, and for Panama would be the martyr district.

They also bombed different airports, dropping 2000 pound of bombs, were also shelling and fighting in Panamanian military headquarters areas that where near to civilian areas bordering neighborhoods. According to George Bush’s military offensive against the Panama Defense Forces was made to protect American lives, defend democracy in Panama, to apprehend Noriega and bring him for trial on charges related to drug trafficking which was syndicated in 1988 and finally to ensure the integrity of the Panama Canal Treaties.

Without doubt, to understand the scope of the U. S. invasion is necessary not to lose sight of the Santa Fe documentary of the beginning of 1989, which noted that ‘‘the removal of Noriega and the holding of elections will not be sufficient to establish a democratic regime in Panama. United States will have to concentrate fully on matters pertaining to its democratic regime, reform of the FDP, support for an independent judiciary and restoration of the economy, will be most essential’’.

The history was repeated eight decades later, also in 1904, the United States had concluded that the Panamanian army was a factor of socio-political disruption was necessary to eliminate. Certainly, the Republic of Panama paid a heavy price for the excesses of entrenched military regime in power for over two decades and which was the culminating stage narco-dictatorship of Noriega. The secret services of the United States, for which Noriega had worked, were undoubtedly the most responsible for the situation created in Panama.

But we must not forget that Carter legitimized the dictatorial and unconstitutional regime subscribing Torrijos in the Torrijos-Carter Treaties. Moreover, Washington sponsored the electoral fraud of 1984 and up to a certain extent the moral corruption and mismanagement, but that was not all. Once the troops invaded Panama and the Defense Force was disintegrated, Americans assumed police functions implementing the order or avoiding the chaos that was produced. The aid pledged for reconstruction was cut by the U. S. Congress to assist Nicaragua.

Our country is not even able to recover intact the 375 million that were being held in respect of payments for the Canal and taxes of U. S. companies. United States arranged for a part of it served to pay off part of servicing the external debt had not been paid in recent years. While in Panama, paradoxically point out the victims as the responsible of this genocide, however, these people are heroes and heroines, heroes 21 times, 252 months and 7665 days with nearly 183,960 hours of heroism, every year that passed without justice without honor fold increase vitality.

We still don’t understand how the United States with so much technology and monetary resources not only leads to the guilty General Noriega and his associates without destroying a whole country. Hopefully actions like this not ever happen again in Panama, or any other country of America or the world. The memory of the invasion remains an open wound in the hearts of the Panamanian people.

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