Aquilino Boyd, the special envoy seeking to counter criticism here of Panama's military strongman Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega, charged yesterday that the U.S. Senate's calls for Noriega's ouster "have thrown a shower of acid rain that has poisoned the waters of friendship between our two nations."

At a meeting with reporters, Boyd, a former foreign minister and ambassador to the United States, attacked two recent Senate resolutions critical of Noriega and the 20,000-member Panamanian Defense Forces. Boyd said they were the work of Americans who want to prevent Panama from gaining control of the Panama Canal in 2000 and "bad Panamanians who believe that getting the blessing of American politicians" is the way to win the elections that are supposed to take place in Panama in 1989.

Panama's ambassador to the Organization of American States, Roberto Leyton, who also took part in the meeting, said the administration is too much on the defensive in its Latin American policies to come to Panama's defense. He noted that the Iran-contra hearings have produced congressional calls for dismissal of Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state for inter-American affairs, for misleading Congress.

"Do you think Mr. Abrams, in the position he is in right now, would dare to speak against the Senate?" Leyton asked. "The administration has been accused by the Senate. The administration won't sacrifice {its remaining influence} with the Senate to defend Panama."

In a speech last week, Abrams, while professing neutrality and not mentioning names, sent an unmistakable signal of the administration's view that the growing tensions between those who are pro- and anti-Noriega within Panama underscore the need for the defense forces to drop Noriega and get out of politics. U.S. officials said that in a meeting Monday with Boyd, Abrams reaffirmed that position, although he still did not mention Noriega by name.

Last March the Senate charged that Panama was a major center for narcotics trafficking. On June 26, after three weeks of violent demonstrations triggered by charges that Noriega had been involved in electoral fraud and the murder of a political opponent, the Senate adopted a resolution calling on civilian President Eric Arturo Delvalle, a figurehead for the military, to suspend Noriega from his command pending impartial investigation of the charges.

"This type of resolution is no way to treat a friend. As a proud nation, we are the one who should demand apologies and reparations," Boyd said. But he acknowledged that as a gesture toward easing tensions, he had apologized for damage done to the U.S. Embassy in Panama last week by Noriega supporters.

Boyd said the principal "bad Panamanian" was Gabriel Lewis, another former ambassador here, who fled Panama June 13 after trying unsuccessfully to mediate between Noriega and the opposition. Lewis' arguments that Noriega has lost the confidence of the Panamanian electorate and must go were an influential factor in passing the Senate resolution.

"I feel sorry for Mr. Boyd because he must defend an indefensible position," Lewis said yesterday in response to Boyd's attacks. "I am opposed to military intervention of any sort, but I welcome moral support not only from the United States but from any democratic country . . . . Panama must become a genuine democracy, free of fear and repression. If a commitment to these democratic objectives makes me a 'traitor,' then I am a 'traitor.' "