On December 20, 1989, the United States began “Operation Just Cause,” a large-scale invasion of Panama conducted to remove its leader, General Manuel Noriega, from power.Noriega had been a Cold War ally of the United States since the 1970s. He supported the U.S. in the containment of communism in Central America. However, Noriega was also a dictator who helped make Panama a haven for drug trafficking and also accepted aid from communist nations such as Cuba, Nicaragua, and Libya.Operation Just Cause was protested by the United Nations, the Organization of American States, and other international organizations. Nevertheless, Noriega was convicted of drug trafficking, racketeering, and money laundering—the first time that a U.S. jury convicted a foreign leader in a criminal case. After serving prison sentences in the United States and France, Noriega is currently serving a prison sentence in Panama.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry ally Noun
person or group who supports and cooperates with another person or group.
Cold War Noun
(1947-1991) conflict between the Soviet Union (and its allies) and the United States (and its allies). The two sides never confronted each other directly.
type of economy where all property, including land, factories and companies, is held by the government.
act or policy of limiting the spread of an idea or influence.
to find someone guilty of an illegal act.
criminal case Noun
legal dispute involving the government.
person with complete control of a government.
drug trafficking Noun
buying, selling and transporting of illegal drugs.
international organization Noun
unit made up of governments or groups in different countries, usually for a specific purpose.
Encyclopedic Entry: international organization invasion Noun
an attack or move to take possession.
group of people selected to determine facts in a specific case.
Encyclopedic Entry: jury money laundering Noun
process by which the financial proceeds from a criminal activity are made to appear "clean"—as if they were profits from legal activities.
buildings that house convicted criminals and people accused of a crime and awaiting trial.
protest noun, verb
demonstration against a policy or action.
behavior in which a person or organization establishes a "racket," or organized illegal activity.