The U.S. has caused a lot of problems in Central
American countries using intervention. One of the
United States biggest problems is with interfering
in other nations business. The United States has
intervened with many countries when they were in
trouble. Such countries as Panama, Vietnam and
Iraq have all been messed up by the United States.
The United States gets greedy some times and waits
to help a country only after it gets what it
wanted. The only time the United States helps a
country is if it will help themselves in the long
run, it seems clear that with Panama, the United
States had a few purposes to do that.
Here are a
few examples. In 1985 when Torrijos, who was the
dictator of Panama, died that took care of one of
the United States problems, but it made another
(Millett n. pg.). Manuel Noriega, a drug
trafficking gangster, took over and was the new
dictator. Some people would wonder how a person
involved in drug trafficking was the leader of a
country. That was easy for him, the United States
did not want to stop him.
In 1986 the United
States praised him for his anti-drug trafficking
policy and his version of a democracy (Zmag n.
pg.). Eventually the United States had to do
something to take care of this dictator. Since at
least 1972 Noriega had been involved in drug
trafficking and he had also never been elected
president (Zmag n. pg.). In 1984 and 1989 Noriega
had stolen the elections using fraud and violence
(Zmag n. pg.).
The United States say they dont
want drugs in their country yet they let a drug
trafficker run the country of Panama. Back during
the 70s the Nixon administration thought about
assassinating Noriega because he was helping with
the drug trafficking (Zmag n. pg.). They did not
get him when they had the chance because he was
helping the United States with the war in
Nicaragua and the United States was using Panama
for the canal. The United States needed a guy that
they could control to run Panama (Zmag n. pg.).
The government thought he was doing a good job
with the new democracy and thought it was a good
model for other Central American countries.
also doing everything that the United States
pretty much wanted him to do. Really all they
cared about was what they were getting out of it;
they did not care about the people of Panama (Zmag
n.pg.). All throughout the years the government
has been in it for itself and using other nations
to get money or something else that it wanted.
Right after the invasion of Panama the United
States lifted a ban on loans to Iraq and made a
technology trade with China (Zmag n. pg.). It
seems that whenever the United States does not
need something it will turn its back on the people
it was using and start using some one else. The
media was not much of help either.
The media never
showed how bad the human rights in Panama were
until the United States invaded (Zmag n. pg.). The
government never showed how cruel of a leader
Noriega was until they did not need him, when he
was indicted in 1988, all but one of the charges
was before 84 (Zmag n. pg.). The United States
also didnt use very good techniques for getting
rid of Noriega. They made economic sanctions that
whipped out the economy (Zmag n.
pg.). That didnt
hurt Noriega; only the people were affected by it.
This did make the people of Panama hate Noriega a
lot more for it. They then tried a military coup,
but it did not work (Zmag n. pg.). Then the
invasion occurred. The invasion got what it was
supposed to do done pretty fast, it had a few
problems though (Kehoe 1).
By January most of the
resistance was destroyed and they caught Noriega
(Kehoe 1.). The United States caused a lot of
devastation when it invaded. The troops killed
hundreds of innocent civilians and caused two
billion dollars in damage. The Bush administration
only offered the country five hundred million
dollars in aid which meant it would take a long
time for the country to rebuild and get back to
were it was. Today the government is doing well
and the economy has gotten better, but
unfortunately it is still really bad for the poor.
This just goes to show how if the United States
would have helped the people earlier it might have
not been half as bad.(Kehoe 2704). Panamas economy
has gotten better for the middle and upper class
and the United States and Panama still have
relations with each other.
In 1995 the United
States and Panama talked about keeping a military
presence in Panama (Sullivan n. pg.). The
president of Panama said that they will not have
United States military present in Panama. It would
probably be best to keep the forces over there in
case the United States runs into trouble with any
Central American nations or if Panama needs some
extra help for some reason. In 1997 there were
about 6 thousand Panamanians working for the
United States military at some of the bases which
brings in over 360,000,000 dollars in revenue to
the economy a year (Sullivan n. pg.).
Panamanian government is also allowing the use of
the Howard Air Force Base as an international drug
interdiction center for free. That is what Panama
is doing to help in the war against drugs
(Sullivan n. pg.). The United States is trying to
help the Panamanian government and its economy by
helping to create a good democracy and also
training some new forces for the defense of
Panama. It seems clear that the United States has
a serious problem. It does not do a good job with
foreign affairs in Central America.
For one they
let Noriega in charge of a nation that we needed
to have some control in. The United States did try
their best to get rid of Noriega, but they waited
to long. By not doing anything all the United
States did was cause more suffering on the people
of Panama. The United States should have probably
known that eventually they would have to get rid
of Noriega some time in the future. Bibliography:
Works Cited Chomsky, Noam Invasion of Panama.
October 10, 2000 Kehoe, Mark T. Panama 1989
Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report September
24, 1994, pg.
2704, 1pg. Millett, Richard L.
Aftermath of Intervention in Panama 1990 Journal
of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs Spring
1990, 15 pg.s pg.1 Millett, Richard L. Panama &
Haiti no PG. October 10, 2000 Sullivan, Mark P.
Panama and U.S. Relations no PG. October 10, 2000.
Research essay sample on Us Intervention In Panama