WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 1989 (UPI) - Here is the text of President Bush's 7:20 a.m. EST address to the nation on his actions concerning Panama:
''Fellow citizens, last night I ordered U.S. military forces to Panama. No president takes such action lightly. This morning, I want to tell you what I did and why I did it.
"For early two years, the United States, the nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have worked together to resolve the crisis in Panama.
The goals of the United States are to safeguard the lives of Americans, defend democracy in Panama, to combat drug trafficking and to protect the integrity of the Panama Canal treaty.
Many attempts have been made to resolve this crisis through diplomacy and negotiations. All were rejected by the dictator of Panama, General Manuel Noriega, an indicted drug trafficker.
"Last Friday, Noriega declared his military dictatorship to be in a state of war with United States and publicly threatened the lives of Americans in Panama.
"The very next day, forces under his command shot and killed an unarmed American serviceman, wounded another, arrested and brutally beat a third serviceman and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse.
"That was enough.
"General Noriega's reckless threats against Americans in Panama created an imminent dnager to the 35,000 Americans citizens in Panama.
"As president, I had no higher obligation than to safeguard the lives of American citizens and that is why I directed our armed forces to protect the lives of American citizens in Panama and to bring General Noriega to justice in the United States.
"I contacted the bipartisan leadership in Congress last night and informed them of this decision and after taking this action, I also talked to leaders in Latin American, the Caribbean and those of other U.S. allies.
"At this moment, U.S. forces, including forces deployed from the United States last night, are engaged in action in Panama. The United States intends to withdraw the forces newly deployed to Panama as quickly as possible.
"Our forces have conducted themselves courageously and selflessly, and as commander in chief, I salute every one of them and thank them on behalf of our country.
"Tragically, some Americans have lost their lives in defense of their fellow citizens, in defense of democracy and my heart goes out to their families. We also regret the loss of innocent Panamanians.
"The brave Panamanians elected by the people of Panama in elections last May, President Guillermo Endara and Vice Presidents Calderon and Ford have assumed the rightful leadership of their country.
"You remember those horrible pictures of newly elected Vice President Ford, covered head to toe with blood, beaten by so-called dignity battalions.
"Well, the United States today recognizes the democratically elected government of President Endara. I will send our ambassador back to Panama immediately.
"Key military objectives have been achieved. Most organized resistance has been eliminated but the operation is not over yet.
"General Noriega is in hiding. And nevertheless, yesterday, a dictator ruled Panama and today, constitutionally elected leaders govern.
"Today, I have directed the secretary of the treasury and the secretary of state to lift the economic sanctions with respect to the democratically elected government of Panama and in cooperation with the government, take steps to affect an orderly unblocking of Panamanian government assets in the United States.
"I am fully committed to implementing the Panama Canal Treaty and turn over the canal to Panama in the year 2000.
"The actions we've taken and cooperation of a new democratic government in Panama will permit us to honor these commitments as soon as the new government recognizes a qualified candidate, a Panamanian, to be administrator of the canal, as called for in the treaty.
"I will submit this nominee to the Senate for expedited consideration.
"I am committed to strengthening our relationship with democratic nations in this hemisphere.
"I will continue to seek solutions to the problems in this region and dialogue and multilateral diplomacy.
"I took this action only after reaching the conclusion that every other avenue was closed and the lives of American citizens were in grave danger.
"I hope the people of Panama will put this dark chapter of dictatorship behind them and move forward together as citizens of a democratic Panama with this government that they, themselves, have elected.
"The United States is eager to work with the Panamanian people in partnership and friendship to rebuild their economy.
"The Panamanian people want democracy, peace and the chance for a better life with dignity and freedom.
"The people of the United States seek only to support that in pursuit of these noble goals.
"Thank you very much.''