Panama Down and Dirty

Noriega strikes back

Once again, Panama's strongman, General Manuel Antonio Noriega, was on the counterattack last week, mainly on the propaganda front. His targets included not only the civilian opposition that has waged a two-month struggle to loosen his grip on power but also the U.S. embassy.

Noriega's major move was a police raid on the offices of the National Civic Crusade, the coalition of 107 community organizations that has staged daily street demonstrations in the capital. Plainclothes government agents burst into the Crusade offices in downtown Panama City and hauled off boxes of documents. Then, at a dramatic midnight news conference, Attorney General...