In the Time of the Tyrants: Panama, 1968-1990

R. M. Koster, Author, Guillermo Sanchez, Author, Guillermo Sanchez Borbon, With W. W. Norton & Company $22.95 (430p) ISBN 978-0-393-02696-2
This scathing indictment of U.S. Central American policy by an American novelist and a Panamanian journalist chronicles 21 years of misrule from the advent of Omar Torrijos to the fall of Manuel Noriega. In describing the power struggle following Torrijos's death in 1981, Koster and Sanchez charge that the Reagan administration helped Noriega, its ``protege and accomplice,'' steal the '84 election, and they scoff at George Bush's claim to have been unaware of Noriega's involvement in drug traffic. The book deals primarily with the crimes and cruelties of Torrijos (``a tyrant, murderer, and thief'') and Noriega (``an entirely untrustworthy, totally amoral, sadomasochistic sociopath''), and reveals how the U.S. ``midwifed'' the Panamanian dictatorship into existence in '68, supported it materially and morally in its various permutations, then cut out the very cancer it had created in last year's military intervention. A credible, informative report, it is, however, studded with angry charges not supported with documentation, for example, that Bush, when vice-president, shared a metaphorical bed with the dopers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-393-30844-0
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