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The new U.S. sanctions are a "virtual declaration of war by the world's greastest power against the leader of a relatively small armed forces," said Romulo Escobar Bethancurt, president of Manuel Noriega's Democratic Revolutionary Party. "Under no circumstances can Noriega be a threat to the United States' national security."

The sanctions apparently prompted the government's urgent plea for funds from Latin American and Caribbean central banks Friday. Panama's ambassador to Venezuela made a formal petition to the Latin American Economic System in a letter signed by Panama's Planning Minister Ricaurte Vasquez. WAR Input file was /asst/csi/0409/pass2/0135 Output file was /asst/csi/0409/pass3/0161