20th December
It was on this day...

1989 USA Invades Panama

Tensions between General Manuel Noriega and the USA had been mounting for a while. Noriega, the military dictator of Panama, had been indicted in the USA on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.

When Guillermo Endara's democratic election as president of Panama was revoked by Noriega, the George H Bush administration in the USA declared war with "Operation Just Cause".

On this day 9,000 US troops joined the 12,000 US troops already in Panama. Some resistance was met, but the US had overwhelmed the Panamanian army by 24th December. Endara was installed as president by US forces.

Noriega gave himself up on 3rd January 1990.

Noriega was arrested by US Drug Enforcement Agency agents. He was charged, in 1992, on eight counts of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering. This was the first time that a foreign leader had been charged in US courts. He was sentenced to 40 years in jail.

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