Washington ultimately soured on the dictator.
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Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83 .Noriega ruled with an iron fist, ordering the deaths of those who opposed him and maintaining a murky, close and conflictive relationship with the United States.After his downfall, Noriega served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States, then was sent to face charges in France. He spent all but the last few months of his final years in a Panamanian prison for murder of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.Two years after Torrijos died in a mysterious plane crash in 1981, Noriega became the head of the armed forces and Panama's de facto ruler.U.S. President George H.W. Bush ordered the invasion in December 1989, and Noriega was captured and taken to Miami.During the operation, 23 U.S. military personnel died and 320 were wounded, and the Pentagon estimated 200 Panamanian civilians and 314 soldiers were killed.Jurors convicted Noriega in April 1992 of eight of 10 charges.
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