U.S. Invasion Viewed with Favor by Widow of Failed Coup Leader With PM-Panama,Bjt
Dec. 23, 1989
MIAMI (AP) _ For the widow of Maj. Moises Giroldi, who led October's failed coup attempt against Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, the U.S. overthrow of the Panamanian strongman was the welcome culmination of a sad story.
But Adela Bonilla de Giroldi said she doesn't think Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, who she believes killed of her husband, will ever see trial in the United States, despite the $1 million bounty offered by President Bush.
''I have faith that they will find him dead,'' she said. ''They will never catch him alive. It doesn't matter to me if Bush wants to put a price on Noriega's head. The important thing is that Noriega doesn't stay in Panama.''
Mrs. Giroldi, 36, called U.S. Army officials two days before the failed Oct. 3 coup attempt by her husband to appeal for help. The coup failed, and Noriega was reported to have executed Giroldi himself after regaining control. Mrs. Giroldi is among those who accuse the United States of dooming the coup by failing to support it quickly enough.
''I was so frustrated because President Bush didn't do anything for my husband,'' Mrs. Giroldi said Thursday in Miami, where she fled after the failed coup. ''But now, even though many lives have been lost (in the U.S. invasion), I am relieved. My husband did not die in vain. His dream of ridding Panama of Noriega has come true. He is dead but he died for a great cause.''
Mrs. Giroldi said her husband, a one-time confidante of Noriega, planned to deliver the general alive to U.S. authorities to face drug trafficking charges. But Pentagon officials have said Giroldi planed to let Noriega retire in Panama. The Bush administration its inaction during the coup attempt stemmed from disagreement among the rebels about what to do with Noriega.
Like many Panamanian exiles, Mrs. Giroldi, a mother of three who worked at the national bank of Panama, said she would return as soon as stability was restored.
''It is our home and we want to help rebuild it,'' she said.