Noriega, emphatically and in Spanish: "Absolutely not."

The new president, Adolfo Díaz, is the former treasurer of an American mining company.
Photo provided by Flickr

relations with General Noriega spanned during the latter half of the

That signaled the end of the invasion. The death toll among Panamanians was never clear but ranged from several hundred, according to the United States, to several thousand, according to human rights groups that criticized the invasion. Twenty-five American soldiers died.

"Gen. Noriega is here today under protest, " said attorney Frank Rubino.
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Noriega may have been working for the US since the 1970s, when

would not negotiate with a known drug-trafficker and denied having any knowledge of Noriega's involvement with the drug trade prior to his indictment.

Marines occupy Panamanian province of Chiriqui for two years to maintain public order.
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He also is accused of traveling to Havana so that Cuban President Fidel Castro could mediate a dispute between Noriega and the cartel, the world's largest cocaine-trafficking gang.

Tactical map of Operation Just Cause showing major points of attack.
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1985:Hugo Spadaforo, whoopposes Noriega, is assassinated.

Beginning in the middle of the 1980s, relations between Noriega and the United States began to deteriorate. In 1986, U.S. President opened negotiations with General Noriega, requesting that the Panamanian leader step down after he was publicly exposed in the by , and later exposed in the . Reagan pressured him with several drug-related indictments in U.S. courts; however, since extradition laws between Panama and the U.S. were weak, Noriega deemed this threat not credible and did not submit to Reagan's demands. In 1988, and others in the Pentagon began pushing for a U.S. invasion, but Reagan refused, due to Bush's ties to Noriega through his previous positions in the CIA and the Task Force on Drugs, and their potentially negative impact on Bush's presidential campaign. Later negotiations involved dropping the drug-trafficking indictments. In March 1988, an attempted coup against the government of Panama was resisted by Noriega's forces. As relations continued to deteriorate, Noriega appeared to shift his Cold War allegiance towards the Soviet bloc, soliciting and receiving military aid from Cuba, Nicaragua, and Libya. American military planners began preparing contingency plans for action against Panama.

Navy SEALS destroyed Noriega's private jet and a Panamanian gunboat.

The general’s life in prison was austere. His housing at the medium-security Federal Detention Center south of downtown Miami was a spare, two-room cinder-block cell under surveillance. He received occasional visits from friends, members of the clergy and his family, including his wife, Felicidad Sieiro de Noriega, and his three daughters, Thays, Sandra and Lorena, all of whom survive him.

Bush and the Chairman of the Joint Panama

As his client listened through headphones to a Spanish translation, Rubino listed a variety of reasons why Noriega would not recognize the court's jurisdiction: Noriega is the leader of a sovereign nation. He is a political prisoner. The U.S. invasion of Panama was illegal, as was Noriega's transfer to the United States.

Invasion ofPanama: 'Greatest Genocide in Our History'

Gen. Noriega’s U.S. sentence was reduced to 30 years after three former U.S. officials spoke on his behalf at a sentence-reduction hearing. Just as he was granted parole for good behavior and scheduled for release in 2007, U.S. officials agreed to a French extradition request based on a money-laundering charge.