Former Panamanian leader Manuel Solis dies at 91

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2009 3:26 PM

Manuel Solis, who served briefly as president during Manuel Noriega's military regime, died Friday. He was 91.

Solis died at his home from respiratory failure, said Mitchell Doens, the secretary general of the Democratic Revolutionary Party to which Solis belonged.

Solis served as education minister during the military regime dominated by Noriega and then was named acting president in February 1988 after President Eric Arturo Del Valle was fired. He ruled until Sept. 1, 1989.

Doens said Solis fought for Panama's sovereignty and led the movement in the 1940s against U.S. military presence in the Central American country, where the U.S. built and ran the Panama Canal for generations.

His brief term as president ended with the U.S. invasion that ousted Noriega.

Solis went on to serve as education minister from 2004-2009 in Martin Torrijos' administration.

He is survived by his wife and three children.