In this Jan. 28, 2017, file photo, Panamanian ex-dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega, wearing a red baseball cap, arrives after being placed under house arrest for three months in Panama City. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco, File)
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Panama's former military dictator Manuel Noriega was undergoing surgery Tuesday to remove a benign brain tumor, with his family hoping the 83-year-old's recovery will prevent his return to prison.Relations between Noriega and the United States deteriorated as he defied pressure from U.S. president Ronald Reagan to stand down, and as he appeared to shift allegiance to the then-Soviet Union, at the height of the Cold War.After his ouster Noriega was taken prisoner to the United States, where he was tried and imprisoned on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.In 2010 Noriega was extradited to France, where he was convicted on money laundering charges, then extradited to Panama in 2011, where he was sentenced for the disappearance of political opponents during his reign.Noriega was being held in El Renacer prison, on the banks of the Panama Canal. But in January he was granted temporary release into home detention to prepare for surgery, which had originally been scheduled for February.
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