The first of 1,300 additional American troops flew to Panama Tuesday in what Gen. Manuel Antonio Noriega's military regime called an "invasion."
With the first planes arriving late Tuesday, the Panamanian Health Ministry issued a communique calling the additional soldiers potential AIDS carriers.Meanwhile, neighbors and aides said state security agents surrounded the home of Ricardo Arias Calderon, the head of the Christian Democratic Party and a leading government opponent.
Luis Camacho, an aide who was in Arias Calderon's home, said in a telephone interview the house was surrounded Monday night by four carloads of plainclothes police who continued their vigil Tuesday.
Camacho said Arias Calderon was not at home but declined to disclose his whereabouts. The aide said the party leader's wife and other family members were in the house "and are virtually incommunicado except for the phone."
The Health Ministry statement said the "growing number of American soldiers" not only "constitute an armed threat to our sovereignty and independence," but "a real danger to the health of our people."
The ministry maintained that tests showed U.S. military personnel show a high rate of AIDS.