Mon | Jan 30, 2023

The US, 'Dudus' and criminality

Published:Friday | March 5, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

I am a man of modest accomplishments. So the likelihood of the United States paying any attention to my comments or revoking my visa is extremely remote. As a child, I was impressed with the generosity of the United States. They seemed to be giving money and things to everybody. I could not understand, therefore, why older guys attending university held views that were diametrically opposed to my own. Though they did not hold the extreme views of terrorists -which no well-thinking person could support - they felt that the US had done incalculable damage around the world.

I have never been comfortable with a lot of these treaties that have been signed on our behalf. They all seem to be giving something of ours to somebody else - particularly the US. I have been most uncomfortable with the extradition treaty with the US - a country which is prepared to take the word of a convicted criminal seeking a reduced sentence to convict someone else.

They are now demanding Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. I have never met him. I hear that he is a 'don' and that the relative calm in the western end of the Corporate Area is solely his doing - not the police's. He is wanted allegedly for trafficking in guns and drugs. Has he been sending guns to the US? And what is the true position of the US on drugs?

My mother was born in Panama, so let's look at that country. From as far back as 1971, the US claimed to have "hard evidence ... sufficient for indictment" of heavy involvement in drug trafficking by Manuel Noriega, the Panamanian strongman. President Nixon set in motion initial plans to assassinate him. They discovered, however, that he could be very useful in providing intelligence on Castro, Daniel Ortega and others. So the CIA put him on their payroll instead and he became their 'golden boy'.

He was even given a VIP tour of the CIA headquarters by George Bush Sr. Over the next several years he, along with the Colombian drug cartels and the entire country and its resources, flew hundreds of tons of drugs into the US with the full knowledge of US officials. It did not seem to matter.

By 1989, with the January 1 deadline for handing over the Canal to Panama, the US invaded Panama under the pretext that they were arresting Noriega for drug trafficking. This, after 30 years of drug running and money laundering.

I am, etc.,