Manuel Solís Palma

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Manuel Solís Palma
President of Panama
In office
26 February 1988 – 1 September 1989
Preceded by Eric Arturo Delvalle
Succeeded by Francisco Rodríguez
Personal details
Born Manuel Solís Palma
(1917-12-03)3 December 1917
Los Santos, Panama
Died 6 November 2009(2009-11-06) (aged 91)
Panama City, Panama
Political party Democratic Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s) Thelma Hassan

Manuel Solís Palma (3 December 1917 in Los Santos Province – 6 November 2009) was the acting president of Panama from 26 February 1988 to 1 September 1989, under the military rule of Manuel Noriega. He served as education minister in several administrations,[1] and worked on the 1968 presidential campaign of Arnulfo Arias Madrid.[citation needed]

In February 1988, Noriega promoted Solís from education minister to president after the firing of president Eric Arturo Delvalle.[1] The US administration of president Ronald Reagan refused to recognize Solís or the diplomats representing him as legitimate.[2] In May, the administration offered a deal in which Noriega would leave office in exchange for the US dropping drug charges against him; however, the Panamanian military rejected the terms, which gave no guarantee that Solís would retain power.[3] Solís served until 1 September 1989, shortly before the US invasion of Panama which deposed Noriega.[1] He was later described as one of a series of Noriega's puppet rulers, nicknamed the "Kleenex presidents" in Panama due to their "disposability".[4] In 1994, he was pardoned by President Guillermo Endara for any crimes committed during the Noriega years.[5]

In the administration of Martín Torrijos (2004–2009), Solís served again as education minister.[1]

He died on 6 November 2009 from pulmonary edema in Panama City.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Manuel Solis". The Washington Post.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 7 November 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "The tough is still in charge". The Economist.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 5 March 1988. Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Michael Briggs (26 May 1988). "U.S. deal to get Noriega out of Panama scrapped". The Chicago Sun-Times.  – via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 20 September 2012. 
  4. ^ Robert C. Harding (2006). The History of Panama. Greenwood Press. p. 100. ISBN 031333322X. 
  5. ^ "Briefs". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  – via Questia (subscription required). Reuters. 7 June 1994. Retrieved 30 September 2012. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Eric Arturo Delvalle
President of Panama
Succeeded by
Francisco Rodríguez