Panama Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang

Noriega thwarts a coup, then tries to negotiate a slick, and safe, departure

For General Manuel Antonio Noriega, the crisis seemed to grow more desperate by the day. As Panama suffered through a worsening cash crunch and continuing street protests, the strongman faced a revolt by some officers of the once unswervingly loyal Panamanian Defense Forces. The rebellion erupted shortly after dawn last Wednesday: residents living near Noriega's Panama City headquarters heard the crack of gunfire from inside the iron-gated compound. Reports of a coup quickly swept the capital. The rumors grew until 9:30 a.m., when Noriega appeared at a window and waved. Wearing a white guayabera sport shirt, the general later ventured out...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!