Noriega says U.S. planned to invade Nicaragua 30 years ago this hour #OnThisDay #OTD (Feb 7 1988)

Video: '60 Minutes - Manuel Noriega (1988)'

(Sunday, February 7, 1988, 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST) — Panamanian strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega, indicted Feb. 5, 1988, on U.S. charges that he sold his country to drug smugglers, said tonight in a television interview that he met with U.S. officials in 1985 to discuss plans for an invasion of Nicaragua.

A Noriega aide also interviewed on the CBS’60 Minutes program said National Security Advisor John Poindexter urged Noriega at the December 1985 meeting to find a pretext to invade Nicaragua so the United States could join Panamanian forces in the assault.

“They were going to hit Nicaragua,” Noriega told correspondent Mike Wallace through a translator during an interview in Panama City. “They were going to invade Nicaragua, and the only reason they hadn’t done it was because Panama was in the way, and that all they wanted was Panama to get out of the way and allow them to continue with their plan.”

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