Arnulfo Arias
Historical Figure
Nationality: Panama (born in Colombia)
Date of Birth: 1901
Date of Death: 1988
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Religion: Catholicism
Occupation: Doctor, Politician
Spouse: Ana Matilde Linares ( 1955)
Mireya Moscoso (1964-1988, his death)
Children: Gerardo
Political Party: Panameñista Party
Political Office(s): President of Panama
Fictional Appearances:
The Hot War
POD: November, 1950
Appearance(s): Bombs Away
Type of Appearance: Direct
Political Office(s): President of Panama

Dr. Arnulfo Arias Madrid (15 August 1901 – 10 August 1988) was a Panamanian politician, doctor, writer and President of Panama on three occasions: 1940-41, 1949-51, and for 11 days in October 1968.

His tenacious opposition to the military dictatorship that ruled Panama, coupled with the adversities that he suffered during his political career, which ranged from electoral fraud to three coups, made him into one of the most important and popular politicians in Panama, as well as an icon of Panamanian democracy.

Arnulfo Arias in The Hot War[]

Arnulfo Arias was the President of Panama during World War III. In April 1951, the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb in the Panama Canal. While the Canal Zone was U.S. territory, the country of Panama suffered directly from the attack, as the town of Gatun was also destroyed by the bomb.[1]

U.S. President Harry Truman went to Panama in May to meet with Arias and view the damage the attack had caused. Upon seeing the wrecked canal, Truman profusely apologized for America's failure to prevent the attack, which Arias essentially accepted.[2] Arias was concerned by the tremendous damage the U.S. and the Soviet Union had done to one another, and wondered what Truman's long-term plans were. Truman assured Arias that the U.S. would keep going until the Soviet Union surrendered, an idea that seemed to disturb Arias.[3]


  1. Bombs Away, pg. 340.
  2. Ibid., pg. 343.
  3. Ibid., pg. 344.
Political offices
Preceded by
Augusto Samuel Boyd
President of Panama
1 October 1940 – 9 October 1941
Succeeded by
Ricardo de la Guardia
Preceded by
Roberto Chiari
President of Panama
24 November 1949 – 9 May 1951
Succeeded by
Alcibíades Arosemena
Preceded by
Marco Aurelio Robles
President of Panama
October 1, 1968 – October 11, 1968
Succeeded by
José María Pinilla