PANAMA CITY, JUNE 30 -- 30 -- Supporters of the Panamanian government attacked the U.S. Embassy and Consulate as well as American business establishments in the capital of Panama yesterday, hurling rocks and bottles of red paint.
Witnesses said an estimated 500 slogan-chanting demonstrators participated in the attack shortly after midday. They also overturned a car, apparently thinking it belonged to a U.S. diplomat, and left a sign that read: "The whole world repudiates the Senate's action."
The reference was to Friday's U.S. Senate vote urging a return to democracy in Panama and the ousting of its military chief and de facto ruler, Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega.
Other buildings attacked included those of Citibank, the Chase Manhattan Bank and IBM.
The embassy issued a statement charging that the attack had been "orchestrated by well-known political elements." It added that the embassy was "preparing a strong note of diplomatic protest to the government of Panama . . . . "
The vandalism followed the National Assembly's lifting yesterday of a state of emergency, imposed 21 days ago to quell violent antigovernment disturbances.
Yesterday, the assembly passed a resolution calling for the expulsion of U.S. Ambassador Arthur Davis, accusing him of intervention in Panama's internal affairs.