Every Post article, editorial and human interest story about the effects of the Soviet embargo on Lithuanians underscores residual Soviet imperialism -- and The Post's hypocrisy.

For The Post gave no such coverage to the effects of the U.S. embargo on Panamanians, though the Panamanians suffered far more than the Lithuanians have. One had to go elsewhere to read that the U.S. embargo wiped out Panama's middle class, drove doctors and other professionals from the country in droves, increased unemployment to over 50 percent and caused the poor so much suffering and premature death from malnutrition that Panama's bishops called the sanctions "immoral" and asked the United States to end them.

Did The Post think the U.S. goal -- to get at a single person, Gen. Noriega -- so justified the injuring of hundreds of thousands of innocent people that their suffering wasn't even worth reporting?

Or is it unconscious racism: white Lithuanians deserve compassion and copy while brown Panamanians do not?

You are our eyes and ears on the world, and you usually do an exemplary job. We deserve an explanation for the different coverage of these two embargoes. Do you have a hidden agenda?

-- Bob Krasnansky