CBS Evening News for Monday, Mar 21, 1988
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(Studio: Dan Rather) US-backed opposition forces in Panama reported making concerted effort to oust general Manuel Antonio Noriega. General strike noted closing most inds. Report introduced.
(Panama City, Panama: Juan Vasquez) General strike reported being most successful yet. Noriega noted having to pay nurses overdue wages in dimes and quarters. [Opposition leader Aurelio BARRIA - says general strike will last until Noriega resigns.] Noriega's negotiations with United States reported failing. Possibilities of coup discussed. [Deposed Vice President Roderick ESQUIVEL - predicts military coup.] Soldiers reported forcing publisher empls. to work or be imprisoned. Noriega noted able to reopen banks under declared state of urgency. Poor Panamanians noted becoming desperate for food. [WOMAN - (thru translator) says has nothing.] [Maria GONZALEZ - (thru translator) says family eats once daily.] Scenes shown of Panamanian penury. [MAN - (thru translator) says Noriega should go.] Poor noted trying to survive without work, food or money.
(DC: David Martin) United States reported sending additional troops into Panama; details given, scenes shown. Admin. officials quoted with regard to difficulty of displacing Noriega. [State Department spokesperson Charles REDMAN - says Noriega understands and accepts situation.] [Senator Richard LUGAR - says military strength keeping Noriega in power.] Noriega's ex-pilot, after defecting to US, reported claiming flew in loads of USSR -made arms from Cuba. [REDMAN - comments on ex-pilot's claim.] State Department envoys meeting with Noriega reported including psychiatrist disguised as dipl.; psychiatrist noted asserting Noriega in full command of faculties.