A Guest Who Wore Out His Welcome

Ordinarily Monsignor Jose Sebastian Laboa, the Vatican's Ambassador to Panama, greets visitors with a tray of coffee and cake. But when General Manuel Antonio Noriega strode into the papal embassy on Christmas Eve, such hospitality was hardly appropriate. The fugitive strongman was agitated, pacing the nunciature's marble floors like a caged tiger. The four aides who accompanied him were carrying suspicious vials of injectable liquids and an assortment of guns. Laboa demanded that Noriega relinquish the weapons. At first he refused, but then he apparently complied -- although a submachine gun was later found under the bed in his room at...

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