Panama Moving Against The General

Noriega rejects a U.S.-backed plan to make him step down

Firecrackers exploded over Panama City last week as the main opposition newspaper, La Prensa, prepared to resume publication for the first time since it was banned six months ago. After a government prosecutor returned the building's keys to the paper's owners, supporters waved white handkerchiefs and shouted with joy. "This is a victory of the international press," declared Publisher Ruben Carles, who said the reopening was due to foreign and domestic "pressures" on the government.

Nor was press freedom the only area where the regime of General Manuel Antonio Noriega was coming under pressure. The Panamanian strongman angrily rejected a plan...

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