Public Papers - 1989
Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Banning of Panamanian-Flag Vessels From United States Ports
President Bush has directed that Panamanian-flag vessels not be permitted to enter U.S. ports after January 31, 1990. This measure will deny Noriega and his puppet regime tens of millions of dollars of revenue. Noriega's cronies will also be deprived of millions of dollars of illegal income in the form of bribes and kickbacks.
This ban is consistent with international efforts to further isolate the Noriega regime, which is currently shunned by the democratic nations of Latin America and around the world. The resolution of the recently concluded General Assembly of the Organization of American States was sharply critical of the Noriega regime and is only one example of the international condemnation of Noriega. The President has made it very clear that there will be no accommodation with the illegal Panamanian regime.
The United States will continue various efforts designed to assist the Panamanian people in their endeavor to bring about Noriega's departure and the establishment of democratic institutions responsive to the will of the people.
The United States regrets the hardships which Noriega has brought to the people of Panama, who deserve to be led by a government of their choice. The United States will continue to exercise its rights and comply with its obligations under the Panama Canal treaties and looks forward to a time when it can work closely with a democratically elected, constitutional government in Panama dedicated to serving the interests and welfare of the Panamanian people.