Manuel Solís Palma

Manuel Solís Palma
President of Panama
In office
February 26, 1988 – September 1, 1989
Preceded byEric Arturo Delvalle
Succeeded byFrancisco Rodríguez
Personal details
Manuel Solís Palma

(1917-12-03)December 3, 1917
Los Santos, Panama
DiedNovember 6, 2009(2009-11-06) (aged 91)
Panama City, Panama
Political partyDemocratic Revolutionary Party
Spouse(s)Thelma Hassan

Manuel Solís Palma (December 3, 1917 in Los Santos Province – November 6, 2009) was the acting president of Panama from February 26, 1988 to September 1, 1989, under the military rule of Manuel Noriega. He served as education minister in several administrations,[1] and worked on the 1968 presidential campaign of Arnulfo Arias Madrid.[citation needed]

In February 1988, Noriega promoted Solís from education minister to president after the firing of president Eric Arturo Delvalle.[1] The US administration of president Ronald Reagan refused to recognize Solís or the diplomats representing him as legitimate.[2] In May, the administration offered a deal in which Noriega would leave office in exchange for the US dropping drug charges against him; however, the Panamanian military rejected the terms, which gave no guarantee that Solís would retain power.[3] Solís served until September 1, 1989, shortly before the US invasion of Panama which deposed Noriega.[1] He was later described as one of a series of Noriega's puppet rulers, nicknamed the "Kleenex presidents" in Panama due to their "disposability".[4] In 1994, he was pardoned by President Guillermo Endara for any crimes committed during the Noriega years.[5]

In the administration of Martín Torrijos (2004–2009), Solís served again as education minister.[1]

He died on November 6, 2009 from pulmonary edema in Panama City.[1][6]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Manuel Solis". The Washington Post.  – via the original on 7 March 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  2. ^ "The tough is still in charge". The Economist.  – via the original on 9 March 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  3. ^ Michael Briggs (26 May 1988). "U.S. deal to get Noriega out of Panama scrapped". The Chicago Sun-Times.  – via the original on 25 March 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2012.
  4. ^ Robert C. Harding (2006). The History of Panama. Greenwood Press. p. 100. ISBN 031333322X.
  5. ^ "Briefs". St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  – via Questia (subscription required). Reuters. 7 June 1994. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  6. ^