Coup Maker

The U.S. places its Panama bets on a cashiered colonel

After supporting Panama's General Manuel Noriega for nearly five years, the Reagan Administration turned against him last February, when the swaggering strongman was indicted on drug-smuggling charges by two Florida grand juries. Since then Washington has tried and failed to force Noriega out with economic sanctions and to shift power to a civilian government headed by ousted President Eric Arturo Delvalle. Now, it seems, the State Department is focusing on a different man and a different strategy. The man: Lieut. Colonel Eduardo Herrera Hassan, a 20-year veteran of the Panamanian Defense Forces and a former Ambassador to Israel. The strategy: to...

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