When Van Halen was used to drive General Noriega out of Vatican protection

When dictator Manuel Antonio Noriega took refuge in the Vatican Embassy in Panama in December 1989, the US Army used Rock & Roll to drive him out.

The song «Panama» by Van Halen was used to drive General Noriega to surrender.

This is the 25th of December 1989 report from the Italian News agency ANSA:

«The papal Nuncio in Panama city, Monsignor Sebastiano Laboa indicting he would not hand over Noriega to the United States or a US installed government in Panama».

The Press covered the Vatican`s protection of the dictator of Panama.

The papal Nuncio is the Vatican`s diplomatic represenative in Panama, and under International law embassies are sacrossanet ground. US Forces can not legally enter the building to size Noriega if the nuncio choses to grant him asylum.

José Sebastian Laboa

There were 32 people in the embassy, including high officials of the Panamanian Defense forces and political parties of the Noriega regime.

Noriega arrived by car at the embassy at 3.pm.

Source: AP. Tri City Herad, 25th of December 1989.

My comment:

The Vatican protected a pimp, a human right abused and a drug dealer. The papal Nuncio used his diplomatic immunity to help General Noriega to get a chance to escape to another Roman Catholic controlled nation in Latin America.

What weapons did the US Army use to make the Vatican surrender the dictator of Panama?

They used Heavy Rock.

The Pentagon understood that Roman Catholic priests can not stand such load music. I guess the « rock show» drove the priests nuts…

This is what Wikipedia recalls:

General Noriega was handed over to the US army, in an exchange for an end to loud Rock Music.

In Operation Nifty Package, Manuel Noriega fled during the attack and a manhunt ensued. After threatening that he would call for guerrilla warfare if the Apostolic Nuncio did not give him refuge, he was found to have taken refuge in the Apostolic Nunciature in Panama.

American soldiers set up a perimeter outside this building, as any direct action against the embassy itself would have violated international laws, constituted an act of war on the Vatican, and enraged Roman Catholics worldwide.

The nuncio and his staff unsuccessfully attempted to compel Noriega to leave on his own accord, in an effort to prevent the warfare that he had threatened. The soldiers surrounding the embassy used psychological warfare, attempting to force the defeated ruler out using the continuous noise from a low flying helicopter while playing hard rock music and The Howard Stern Show outside the embassy.

People on the ground at the time report that the music was used to prevent eavesdropping by reporters using directional microphones on confidential discussions between Papal Nuncio staff and the US military. Reportedly the song “Panama” by Van Halen was played repeatedly, as was “I Fought The Law” by The Clash.

Noriega surrendered on January 3, 1990

4 thoughts on “When Van Halen was used to drive General Noriega out of Vatican protection

Add yours

  1. If you really want to make someone scream and run in many directions holding their ears , play some rap music

  2. Frankly, they missed the mark. If the US Army wants to use this tactic again, I suggest they try calling Virgin Mobile customer service hold music loop. @Virginmobile You think I’m kidding? I’m not evil enough to suggest you try it, but seriously it’s some kind of odd repetitive lack of closure torture. They play like five seconds of the “song” and have disinterested announcers spending the other five seconds of it announcing it. The songs contain no soothing music, just odd semi-rock sounding weirdness that is geared towards trying to get you to hang up.

  3. Funny there’s no mention that Noriega was on the CIA payroll trafficking drugs for them & was used as their scapegoat. I wish news would report facts.

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