Torrijos was offered bribe by Nixon, ex-aide says

Omar Torrijos, the late Panamanian strong man, was offered a $1 million bribe by former President Richard Nixon to cancel a United Nations meeting called to oppose US control of the Panama Canal, alleges Torrijos's political adviser Romulo Escobar Bethancourt in a new book.

"Torrijos: No American Colony," written by Mr. Escobar Bethancourt," says the bribe was offered in 1973 just before a Security Council session on the canal. He wrote that a Nixon envoy, whom he did not identify, flew to Panama to offer the $1 million bribe to Torrijos, then head of government and National Guard commander in chief. The book says Nixon sent "severe threats" through Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza before attempting the bribe, which General Torrijos turned down.

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