ON THIS DAY IN UNITED STATES HISTORY
December 20, 1989
The United States Invades Panama
On this day in 1989, the United States invaded Panama in Operation Just Cause. This action resulted in the
capture of Manuel Noriega, the dictator of Panama at the time.
The stated justification for the invasion as explained by President George H. W. Bush was to safeguard the lives of
U.S. citizens in Panama, defend democracy and human rights, combat drug trafficking, and protect the integrity of
the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
Operation Just Cause officially ended January 12, 1990 and was followed by Operation Promote Liberty.