Balbina comes clean on Noriega
PANAMA. On the eve of the anniversary of the U. S. invasion of Panama on Dec 20, 1989, Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) presidenti...
PANAMA. On the eve of the anniversary of the U. S. invasion of Panama on Dec 20, 1989, Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) presidential candidate Balbina Herrera finally came clean about her rumored involvement with Panamanian dictarotr, General Manuel Noriega.
The invasion was labelled "Just Cause" as it sought to bring a narco trafficker to justice. But by many it was seen as using a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and an opportunity for the American forces to test newly created weaponry on a soft target
For many Panamanians it remains a day of shame, and one year ago, it was mooted in the Assembly that December 20 should become an annual day of national commemoration. The idea was vetoed by President Martin Torrijos.
After almost two decades from the military intervention, Herrera does not see herself as belonging to the military era, but as part of a generation of Panamanian students who started in 1972 the Federation of Students in Panama to fight for a united territory, and one flag, which flies today.
Balbina Herrera looked back at the events and admitted that in the chaotic days following the invasion Manuel Antonio Noriega visited her house. She wasn’t there, she said. She was in Ecuador and unable to return, but the overthrown dictator was a fugitive and visited her for a few hours before taking refuge at the Apostolic Nunciature in Paitilla. She denies having any sort of contact with the Defense Forces or Noriega during the invasion.
In an interview with La Estrella, she said that today we are paying for the errors made in terms of citizen security, as a result of the elimination of Noriega’s army. “Here the deterioration of the Defense Forces was imminent. Sooner or later it would have happened, but I have told the U.S. that if they had wanted to, they could have taken Noriega without a problem and without destroying the FFDD (Defense Forces), because today after 19 years (thanks to that) we have a reality of insecurity that is incalculable.
“But no, they destroyed the institution.. and it turns out that now we have a completely unsafe country, undermined by drugs.
“And now in today’s policies they (the US) want to bring back this sector.”