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The U.S. has caused a lot of problems in Central American countries using intervention. One of the United States biggest problems is with interfering in other nations business. The United States has intervened with many countries when they were in trouble. Such countries as Panama, Vietnam and Iraq have all been messed up by the United States. The United States gets greedy some times and waits to help a country only after it gets what it wanted. The only time the United States helps a country is if it will help themselves in the long run, it seems clear that with Panama, the United States had a few purposes to do that.
Here are a few examples. In 1985 when Torrijos, who was the dictator of Panama, died that took care of one of the United States problems, but it made another (Millett n. pg.). Manuel Noriega, a drug trafficking gangster, took over and was the new dictator. Some people would wonder how a person involved in drug trafficking was the leader of a country. That was easy for him, the United States did not want to stop him.
In 1986 the United States praised him for his anti-drug trafficking policy and his version of a democracy (Zmag n. pg.). Eventually the United States had to do something to take care of this dictator. Since at least 1972 Noriega had been involved in drug trafficking and he had also never been elected president (Zmag n. pg.). In 1984 and 1989 Noriega had stolen the elections using fraud and violence (Zmag n. pg.).
The United States say they dont want drugs in their country yet they let a drug trafficker run the country of Panama. Back during the 70s the Nixon administration thought about assassinating Noriega because he was helping with the drug trafficking (Zmag n. pg.). They did not get him when they had the chance because he was helping the United States with the war in Nicaragua and the United States was using Panama for the canal. The United States needed a guy that they could control to run Panama (Zmag n. pg.). The government thought he was doing a good job with the new democracy and thought it was a good model for other Central American countries.
He was also doing everything that the United States pretty much wanted him to do. Really all they cared about was what they were getting out of it; they did not care about the people of Panama (Zmag n.pg.). All throughout the years the government has been in it for itself and using other nations to get money or something else that it wanted. Right after the invasion of Panama the United States lifted a ban on loans to Iraq and made a technology trade with China (Zmag n. pg.). It seems that whenever the United States does not need something it will turn its back on the people it was using and start using some one else. The media was not much of help either.
The media never showed how bad the human rights in Panama were until the United States invaded (Zmag n. pg.). The government never showed how cruel of a leader Noriega was until they did not need him, when he was indicted in 1988, all but one of the charges was before 84 (Zmag n. pg.). The United States also didnt use very good techniques for getting rid of Noriega. They made economic sanctions that whipped out the economy (Zmag n.
pg.). That didnt hurt Noriega; only the people were affected by it. This did make the people of Panama hate Noriega a lot more for it. They then tried a military coup, but it did not work (Zmag n. pg.). Then the invasion occurred. The invasion got what it was supposed to do done pretty fast, it had a few problems though (Kehoe 1).
By January most of the resistance was destroyed and they caught Noriega (Kehoe 1.). The United States caused a lot of devastation when it invaded. The troops killed hundreds of innocent civilians and caused two billion dollars in damage. The Bush administration only offered the country five hundred million dollars in aid which meant it would take a long time for the country to rebuild and get back to were it was. Today the government is doing well and the economy has gotten better, but unfortunately it is still really bad for the poor. This just goes to show how if the United States would have helped the people earlier it might have not been half as bad.(Kehoe 2704). Panamas economy has gotten better for the middle and upper class and the United States and Panama still have relations with each other.
In 1995 the United States and Panama talked about keeping a military presence in Panama (Sullivan n. pg.). The president of Panama said that they will not have United States military present in Panama. It would probably be best to keep the forces over there in case the United States runs into trouble with any Central American nations or if Panama needs some extra help for some reason. In 1997 there were about 6 thousand Panamanians working for the United States military at some of the bases which brings in over 360,000,000 dollars in revenue to the economy a year (Sullivan n. pg.).
The Panamanian government is also allowing the use of the Howard Air Force Base as an international drug interdiction center for free. That is what Panama is doing to help in the war against drugs (Sullivan n. pg.). The United States is trying to help the Panamanian government and its economy by helping to create a good democracy and also training some new forces for the defense of Panama. It seems clear that the United States has a serious problem. It does not do a good job with foreign affairs in Central America.
For one they let Noriega in charge of a nation that we needed to have some control in. The United States did try their best to get rid of Noriega, but they waited to long. By not doing anything all the United States did was cause more suffering on the people of Panama. The United States should have probably known that eventually they would have to get rid of Noriega some time in the future. Bibliography: Works Cited Chomsky, Noam Invasion of Panama. October 10, 2000 Kehoe, Mark T. Panama 1989 Congressional Quarterly Weekly Report September 24, 1994, pg.
2704, 1pg. Millett, Richard L. Aftermath of Intervention in Panama 1990 Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs Spring 1990, 15 pg.s pg.1 Millett, Richard L. Panama & Haiti no PG. October 10, 2000 Sullivan, Mark P. Panama and U.S. Relations no PG. October 10, 2000.
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