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Panama / Noriega / United States Role #562140

NBC Evening News for Wednesday, May 11, 1988
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(Studio: Tom Brokaw) President Reagan reported authorizing plan dropping drug indictments against general Manuel Noriega if he will leave Panama. Report introduced.

(Jacksonville, Florida: Brian Ross) Plan outlined on screen and discussed. Source quoted with regard to Attorney General Edwin Meese's objection to plan and President Reagan's acquiescence to it. NSC advrs. reported urging action be taken due to growing alliance between Noriega and Cuba's Fidel Castro. Impact of decision upon United States attys. working to bring indictments against Noriega discussed. United States attorney Robert Merkle quoted. [US attorney Leon KELLNER - says won't agree to drop charges.] Noriega's indictments recalled. [Ex-Noriega aide Jose BLANDON - (thru translator) says Noriega involved in drug trafficking.] Noriega's handling of opposition mentioned effective. Reagan administration decision discussed.

(Studio: Tom Brokaw) Reagan aide quoted with regard to deal. [In DC, Senator Alfonse D'AMATO - condemns plan to drop charges; discusses Cuban threat; says US betraying Panamanians.]

(Studio: Tom Brokaw) State Department officials reported accusing Panama authorities of beating political prisoners and threatening sexual abuse. State Department spokesperson quoted.

Brokaw, Tom;
Ross, Brian

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