Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega dead at 83

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, a onetime U.S. ally who was ousted as Panama’s dictator by an American invasion in 1989, died late Monday at age 83.

Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela wrote in his Twitter account that “the death of Manuel A. Noriega closes a chapter in our history.”

Varela added, “His daughters and his relatives deserve to mourn in peace.”

Noriega served a 17-year drug sentence in the United States and was later sent to face charges in France. The final years of his life were spent in a Panamanian prison for murder of political opponents during his 1983-89 regime.

He accused Washington of a “conspiracy” to keep him behind bars and tied his legal troubles to his refusal to cooperate with a U.S. plan aimed at toppling Nicaragua’s leftist Sandinista government in the 1980s. (AP)

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Vice President Bush with Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega, 1983

Vice President George H.W. Bush and Panamanian leader Manuel Antonio Noriega at Panama City Airport, Dec. 10, 1983, in a photo from Britain’s Thames Television. (AP Photo/Thames TV “This Week”)

Gen. Noriega in Paris, 1984

Panama Army Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega leaves the Élysée presidential palace in Paris after a meeting with French President Francois Mitterrand, June 19, 1984. (AP Photo/Herve Merliac)

Miss USA and Miss Panama flank Gen. Noriega,1986

Miss USA Christy Fichtner, left, and Miss Panama Gilda Garcia Lopez, salute while flanking Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega in Panama City on July 5, 1986. Pictured at right is Miss Colombia Maria Monica Urbina. (AP Photo/Jim Ellis)

Gen. Noriega at a social gathering, 1988

Gen. Manuel Noriega at a social gathering in February 1988. (Greg Smith/Corbis via Getty Images)

Gen. Noriega, 1988

Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega speaks to health workers and members of the pro-government Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) in Panama City, Panama, Feb. 10, 1988. (AP Photo/Carlos Guardia, File)

Gen. Noriega stands with newly appointed President Manuel Solis Palma, 1988

Panama’s newly appointed president, Manuel Solis Palma, stands next to his friend, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, who appointed him during a rally of 2,000 supporters on Feb. 29, 1988. (Beth Cruz/Reuters)

Gen. Noriega waves to supporters, 1988

Military strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waving to supporters outside the presidential palace in Panama City on March 22, 1988. (AP Photo/John Hopper)

Gen. Noriega greets cheering crowds, 1988

Panamanian military strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega raises his fists to acknowledge the crowd’s cheers during a Dignity Battalion rally in Panama City, May 20, 1988. (AP Photo/John Hopper)

Gen. Manuel Noriega, 1988

Gen. Manuel Noriega at a social gathering in February 1988. (Greg Smith/Corbis via Getty Images)

Gen. Noriega greets people at a housing project, 1989

Panama’s Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega greeting people in the Chorillo neighborhood on May 3, 1989, at a housing project dedication in Panama City. (AP Photo/John Hopper)

Gen. Noriega waves to the media, 1989

Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega waves to the media after a state council meeting at the presidential palace in Panama City, where the council announced the new president of the republic, Aug. 31, 1989 . (AP Photo/Matias Recart, File)

Gen. Noriega congratulates Panama’s new provisional president, Francisco Rodriguez, 1989

Gen. Manuel Noriega, center, congratulates Panama’s new provisional president, Francisco Rodriguez, with his back to the camera, on Sept. 1, 1989, in Panama City. At right is Lt. Col. Luis Cordoba, a member of the defense forces general staff. (AP Photo)

Gen. Noriega emerges after a failed coup attempt, 1989

Panamanian Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega emerges from his military headquarters in Panama City, Oct. 4, 1989, a day after a failed coup attempt. President George H.W. Bush refuses to rule out military action to oust the leader, but the next U.S. moves are more likely to involve dollars than bullets. (AP Photo/John Hopper)

Gen. Noriega during a pro-government rally, 1989

Gen. Manuel Noriega holds a rifle bearing his name, given to him by a supporter during a pro-government rally, in Santiago, Panama, Oct. 5, 1989. (AP Photo/Matias Recart)

Gen. Noriega talks to reporters, 1989

Panamanian military strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega talks to reporters in Panama City, Nov. 8, 1989. (AP Photo)

A U.S. soldier stands guard in Noriega’s house, 1989

A U.S. soldier stands guard by a Christmas tree inside the house of Manual Noriega in Panama City, Dec. 23, 1989. (AP Photo/Matiace Recart)

DEA agents chain Manuel Noriega, 1990

Manuel Noriega watches as U.S. Drug Enforcement Agents place chains around his waist aboard a C-130 transport plane, Jan. 4, 1990. (AP Photo)

Manuel Noriega’s mug shot, 1990

Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega mugshot in 1990. (Bureau of Prisons/Getty Images)

A police car transports Manuel Noriega from a Paris courthouse, 2010

A police car carrying former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega, hidden by a white sheet, leaves the Paris courthouse, April 27, 2010. A French judge ordered Noriega jailed pending a trial for money laundering, a decision made only hours after Noriega was extradited from the United States after two decades in a Miami prison. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)

Manuel Noriega in prison in France, 2010

Panama’s ex-dictator Manuel Noriega in prison in France, April 29, 2010. (Philip Ramey/Corbis via Getty Images)

Manuel Noriega is extradited back to Panama, 2011

Manuel Noriega, Panama’s former strongman, is photographed in Panama City on Dec. 14, 2011. Noriega was extradited to Panama and taken straight to prison to serve a 20-year sentence for the murders of opponents during his rule. (Panama’s Ministry of Government and Justice/Reuters)

Manuel Noriega is wheeled by police inside El Renacer prison, 2011

Panama’s former strongman, Manuel Noriega, is carried in a wheelchair by a police officer in El Renacer prison on Dec. 11, 2011. On Feb. 5, 2012, Noriega was taken from the prison to Santo Tomas Hospital after he was diagnosed with an apparent brain hemorrhage but recovered and returned to prison. On Jan. 23, 2017, during surgery to remove a brain tumor, he suffered another brain hemorrhage, and he died on May 29, 2017. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)

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