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  Number 103 | Febrero 1990
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The Last Word: Comments on the US invasion of Panama

Alberto Novoa

“The presence of US troops in Panama represents the threat of an invasion to any nation in Latin America, but first and foremost to Nicaragua.”

President Daniel Ortega in an address to the Nicaraguan people, December 29, 1989.

“The events of Panama, although painful, should be considered in the context of the battle without borders that the civilized world is carrying out against the narco-trafficking empire, which had gone to the extreme of seizing control over a country like Panama.”
UNO presidential candidate Violeta Chamorro. (La Prensa, December 20, 1989)

Brazilian President José Sarney described the invasion as “A step back ward in international relations,” adding that “We profoundly lament this event.”
(The New York Times, December 21 1989).

“Going in with troops was the easy part. Coming out will be extremely difficult.”
(Neil Kinnock, Labor Party of Great Britain. (NYT, December 21, 1989)

“By what authority does the United States kidnap citizens and judge them? The invasion was an illegal search of an entire nation.”
Peruvian President Alan García. (The New York Times, January 13, 1990)

“It was a success. But before our Panama experience becomes a model for more intervention, we should note that it almost surely won’t be as easy elsewhere.”
Representative Les Aspin (D-WI). (The New York Times, January 13, 1990).

“The solution to the crisis requires full respect for the Panamanian people’s right to self-determination, without foreign interference, and faithful compliance whit both the letter and spirit of the Torrijos-Carter accords.”
From the December 22, 1989 OAS resolution condemning the US invasion of Panama. (20 votes in favor, 1 against-the US, 6 abstentions-including Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Venezuela.

“They refuse to let go of their ‘sphere of influence’—Central America and the Caribbean—claiming the right to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation and dictate the terms of that nation’s political life. In other words: the process of perestroika underway in Europe is not matched by and American perestroika.”

Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes. (Barricada, December 26, 1989.)

“I want to assure all the countries of Latin America that US policy remains one of a friendly, supportive and respectful neighbor.”
(US President George Bush. (The New York Times, January 6, 1990).

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