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The World

The new president of Panama met with government officials to start forming a Cabinet after calling for better U.S. ties. However, provisional President Francisco Rodriguez ruled out elections until Washington lifts economic sanctions. In a speech before his first day in office, Rodriguez said he will lead Panama to “a new democracy as soon as American aggression ceases and the funds arbitrarily withheld by the United States government are returned.” Washington has frozen about $300 million in Panamanian assets in a bid to topple military strongman Gen. Manuel A. Noriega. Meanwhile, Jamaica broke diplomatic ties with Panama, and President Alan Garcia of Peru said his nation will not recognize the Rodriguez government because it was “handpicked . . . by a military dictator.”


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