The chapter focuses on the 1989 invasion of Panama and replacement of the Noriega government with the presumptive winning candidate of the annulled general election that had been held earlier during that year. The first part of the chapter outlines the events leading up to the intervention and details the actions taken by the Americans. The second part of the chapter attempts to identify the degree to which the desire for democracy was actually at the heart of the American decision to invade. The chapter then evaluates the measures that the Bush administration took to install a new regime in Panama in order to assess whether these actions were actually focused on delivering democracy.


Panama Noriega Bush Democracy Intervention USA 


  1. BBC. 2011. “Panama’s General Manuel Noriega and His Fall from Grace.” 11 December.
  2. Chambers, John Whiteclay. 2004. “Panama, U.S. Military Intervention.” In The Oxford Companion to American Military History. Oxford University Press.
  3. Cole, Ronald H. 1997. Operation Urgent Fury: The Planning and Exection of Joint Operations in Grenada, 12 October–2 November 1983. Washington, DC: Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint History Office.
  4. Conniff, Michael L. 1992. Panama and the United States: The Forced Alliance. Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
  5. Dunkerly, James. 1994. The Pacification of Central America: Political Change in the Isthmus, 1987–1993. London: Verso.Google Scholar
  6. Epstein, Susan B., Nina M. Serafino, and Frances T. Miko. 2007. “Democracy Promotion: Cornerstone of U.S. Foreign Policy?”
  7. Finkel, Steven E., Anibal Perez-Linan, and Mitchell A. Seligson. 2007. “The Effects of US Foreign Assistance on Democracy Building, 1990–2003.” World Politics 59 (April): 404–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Freedom House. 2018. Freedom in the World 2018.
  9. Fritz, Sara. 1989. “Senate Dissatisfied with US Action in Coup.” Los Angeles Times, October 6.Google Scholar
  10. Grow, Michael. 2008. U.S. Presidents and Latin American Interventions : Pursuing Regime Change in the Cold War. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press.Google Scholar
  11. Head, William P. 2011. “Gunships and ‘Ding-Bats’: U.S. Military Operations During ‘Just Cause.’” Journal of Third World Studies XXVIll (2): 87–105.Google Scholar
  12. Klein, Joe. 1990. “The Man Who Knew Too Much.” The National Interest, January.Google Scholar
  13. Kozloff, N. 2004. “Book Review: Debating the Panama Invasion.” Latin American Perspectives 31 (6): 118–19. Scholar
  14. Los Angeles Times. 1989. “Combat in Panama: Operation Just Cause,” December 21.Google Scholar
  15. Millett, Richard L. 1990. “The Aftermath of Intervention: Panama 1990.” Journal of Interamerican Studies and World Affairs 32 (1): 1–15. Scholar
  16. Pitt, David. 1989. “Widow of Panama Coup Leader Says Fellow Plotter Betrayed Him.” New York Times, October 12.Google Scholar
  17. Ropp, Steve C. 2000. “Panama: Militarism and Imposed Transition.” In Repression, Resistance, and Democratic Transition in Central America, edited by Thomas W. Walker and Ariel C. Armony. Wilmington, DE: Scholarly Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  18. Scott, James M., and Ralph G. Carter. 2016. “Promoting Democracy in Latin America: Foreign Policy Change and US Democracy Assistance, 1975–2010.” Third World Quarterly 37(2): 299–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Scranton, Margaret E. 1991. The Noriega Years: U.S.-Panamanian Relations, 1981–1990. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.Google Scholar
  20. USAID. 1991. “Audit of the Panama Assistance Program Funded by Public Law 101–302.”
  21. XVIII Airborne Corps. 1990. “Operation Just Cause: 870-5a Organizational History Files (Corps Historian’s Notes).”
  22. Weeks, John, and Andrew Zimbalist. 1989. “The Failure of Intervention in Panama: Humiliation in the Backyard.” Third World Quarterly 11 (1): 1–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.United Arab Emirates UniversityAl Ain, Abu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

Personalised recommendations