Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega dead at 83
PANAMA CITY - For years, Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega was a close, sometimes secret ally of the U.S. in a nation holding the strategic Panama Canal.
Then things soured as the populist dictator grew increasingly independent and more embarrassingly thuggish.
Grand juries in Florida alleged he was in cahoots with drug traffickers, and as 1989 neared a close U.S. troops invaded to depose him.
Noriega was never again free, doing time in prisons in the U.S., France and home until his death at age 83.
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