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Jackson, About local Democrats (part 1)

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EJ 1

How should a Democrats Abroad chapter
of several hundred people be run?

by Eric Jackson

A political party in a democracy is different from other sorts of organizations. It’s not a for-profit business, nor is it a charitable organization. It’s neither a religious congregation nor a military unit. It’s not the mafia. It’s not a media business. Skills learned from all such pursuits have been useful for – and the bane of – all sorts of political parties in all sorts of paradigms. (If General Omar Torrijos famously referred to Manuel Antonio Noriega as “my gangster,” suffice to say that this may have been politics but it really wasn’t in a democratic setting.)

But the Democratic Party, specifically an overseas chapter of the US party that currently holds the White House? There are peculiarities that ought to be taken into account, good examples to emulate and bad ones to avoid, but most especially we need to take into account the political math behind the US two-party system.

The one-round, first-past-the post, single-member district system of electing the US Congress makes American political parties different from those in other places. WAY different from places with parliamentary systems based on proportional representation. Also different from places with similar election systems but much sharper regional or ethnic divisions — like those, for example, that give rise to the Scottish National Party in the UK.

The two-party system in the United States means that each party is a coalition of groups with core beliefs that would each be a separate party in a lot of other systems. If we are to look north to Canada, it might reasonably be said that the Democrats in the USA are akin to a coalition that includes those who if Canadian would be Liberals, Greens and New Democrats. Except that the basic Canadian English / French divide doesn’t really exist in the USA, while the legacy of slavery makes the Black / White divide the most important of many ethnic facts in US politics.

Coalition politics that work are not an identity checklist. They have seats at the negotiating table for different constituencies. They temper rivalries with respect. For a 500-some-member group like Democrats Abroad Panama, it will always be a much smaller activist base to mobilize and harmonize, but proper leadership always seeks to expand the group of active people.

On the global level, Bernie Sanders won the Democrats Abroad primary with 57.9 percent of the vote. In Democrats Abroad Panama, out of 164 votes cast Biden got 73, Sanders 56, Yang 27, Bloomberg 4 and a bunch of other candidates got one vote apiece. A lot of other Democrats who live abroad and are members of Democrats Abroad vote in the primaries or caucuses from the states where they vote instead of in the DA global primary. Essentially the entire party in Panama voted for Joe Biden in the general election, with different parts of the small activist base working for the ticket in different ways.

There were, sadly, some folks who carried the primary divisions unsubdued into the fall campaign, and to this day. Our country chapter bylaws say that for the campaign season we should have expanded the board to bring in more members, including Sanders and Yang supporters, to bolster our unity. However, this was not done.

So what does THIS activist draw from all of this?

It’s that pluralism, more encouragement and opportunities for participation and the coordination of skills and desires rather than one size fits all orders are key parts of an effective leadership style.

You want to get involved? Great! What do you want to do? What are you good at doing? What would you like to learn how to do? In general, this is what our party organization has to do – so where might you fit in? Or might you do something outside of that box to advance the cause? And by the way, to which causes, campaigns or communities do you connect? Is there something you might do there?

Such are the questions that a country chapter leader should be asking members. The information needed to answer them without the need for any such interrogation needs to be made easily available. And a good leader will do his or her homework to reach out to and welcome Democrats who will have different answers to these questions.

Get into old age and seek to maintain control? Over the longer term, a fool’s mission. Seek to groom a leader just like one’s self? Wasn’t that Hugo Chávez’s last and worst mistake?

But THIS activist wants to finish a term of service, then step back to leave a more cordial, pluralist and talented local Democratic Party, a generation that has more, better and vetted by the membership choices among them for the next cycle.

 

Eric Jackson, who has run The Panama News for more than 26 years now and has served Democrats Abroad Panama in various roles, is running to be chair of the organization. Anybody running for any elected post with DA Panama – even against the editor! – can consider The Panama News a proper forum to post what she or he has to say about it. Let’s have some public discussion that for good or bad reasons can’t be had in other venues. Send your campaign stuff to fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com with whatever graphics you will use as jpg attachments. If you want to do video or audio, we should be able to work such things in.

 

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Progressives welcome planned US withdrawal from Afghanistan

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US and UK forces on patrol in Helmand province in 2007. US Army photo by Specialist Daniel Love.

Biden plans to pull US forces out of Afghanistan before September 11

by Brett Wilkins — Common Dreams

Progressive lawmakers and peace activists on Tuesday welcomed news that President Joe Biden plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan by September 11, a move that if accompanied by an end to US-led airstrikes would end the longest war in American history.

Although Biden’s decision — which is expected to be formally announced this week — means the United States will miss the May 1 withdrawal deadline set by former President Donald Trump during peace negotiations with the Taliban last year, progressive Democrats nevertheless hailed the impending end of a nearly 20-year war that has killed tens of thousands of Afghan civilians and around 3,500 coalition troops.

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) — who cast the lone dissenting vote in a Congress whose members voted 518-1 to authorize the war following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States — called Biden’s imminent announcement “incredibly encouraging news.”

Biden “will be fulfulling his promise to finally end the longest war in America’s history,” Lee tweeted. “This is such a critical step toward ending forever wars and ushering in global peace.”

Rep. Barbara Lee @RepBarbaraLee

Incredibly encouraging news that @POTUS will be fulfilling his promise to finally end the longest war in America’s history.

This is such a critical step toward ending forever wars and ushering in global peace.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who in 2001 voted to approve the war, published a statement applauding Biden for “making the brave and right decision” to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan. He asserted that “we must also make sure that in the future the United States uses military force only when necessary to protect our national security and when the objective is clear and achievable, and with the informed consent of the American people and the authorization of Congress.”

Bernie Sanders @SenSanders

I applaud President Biden for making the brave and right decision to withdraw US troops from Afghanistan and bring an end to the longest war in our country’s history.

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who entered Congress in 2017, also released a statement praising the president’s expected move.

“I applaud President Biden for achieving an impossibility here in Washington: ending a forever war,” he wrote. “It is an act of extraordinary political courage and vision. After 20 years, thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent, we are finally bringing home our troops from Afghanistan.”

“President Biden campaigned on this popular policy and is now delivering on that promise,” said Khanna. “I’m hopeful this policy change, in accordance with US commitments under the Doha agreement, will help bring peace to a country that for decades has been ravaged by war,” he added, referring to the Trump-Taliban deal.

“Only through diplomacy and negotiations will the war in Afghanistan, which has taken the lives of thousands of civilians, come to an end,” said Khanna.

Rep. Ro Khanna @RepRoKhanna

I applaud @POTUS for achieving what we thought was an impossibility here in Washington: ending a forever war.

After 20 years, thousands of lives lost, and trillions of dollars spent, we are finally bringing home our troops from Afghanistan.

Anti-war groups and peace activists echoed the progressive lawmakers’ praise. In a statement, Win Without War director Stephen Miles said that “if today’s reports are true, President Biden is doing the right thing and taking a big step towards ending our nation’s endless wars.”

Miles continued:

For 20 long years, the United States has waged endless, fruitless, and destructive war in Afghanistan. With today’s decision, President Biden recognizes what the people of the United States and Afghanistan have long known: we simply cannot bomb our way to peace.

We commend the Biden administration for their reported decision, but we also recognize that this did not come from the top alone. This is the result of decades of grassroots pressure fighting to end endless war and put peace first.

This decision must just be the beginning, not the end, of a total rethinking of the U.S. approach to conflict. Combat troops must not simply be replaced with different military tactics: covert operations, private contractors, or drone warfare. After four decades of violence going back to US support for the mujahideen, through our two decades of occupation, we owe it to the Afghan people to support their struggle for peace.

“The tides are shifting,” added Miles. “Now, we must seize on this momentum to end the era of endless war for good.”

CODEPINK @codepink

After nearly 20 years of war on #Afghanistan, Biden’s impending announcement regarding the withdrawal of US troops is both welcomed & long-overdue.

We commend this decision & urge Biden to make it even more meaningful by defunding the Pentagon! #DefundWar

CodePink co-founder Medea Benjamin agreed, tweeting: “Let’s make sure the US does not continue to fight there via other means — CIA, contractors, airwars, drones.”

Imperialists in the US Congress — both Republican and Democrat — on the other hand condemned the prospect of the US pullout from Afghanistan. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) said she was “very disappointed” by the move, while Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) waxed alliterative in his condemnation, saying that “a full withdrawal from Afghanistan is dumber than dirt and devlishly dangerous.”

These “nattering nabobs of negativism” — to quote former Vice President Spiro Agnew, co-perpetrator of the second-longest war in US history — were anticipated by Win Without War’s Miles, who tweeted:

Stephen Miles @SPMiles42

The same people who thought we left Vietnam too soon are going to be out in force today talking about how two decades is somehow too soon in Afghanistan.

Ignore them.

 

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Cardenal Lacunza, Protegiendo nuestro Tesoro

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The Cardinal
 

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Dinero

Is Nito’s Social Security “dialogue” collapsing?

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SUNTRACS
Members of the SUNTRACS construction workers’ union block the road in Penonome. This militant union and the CONUSI labor federation of which it is a part have rejected the Social Security “dialogue” from the outset, characterizing it as being designed as a “me talking with me” process among the business elite. The other major labor federation, CONATO, stated out in the process but withdrew when they came to a similar conclusion. SUNTRACS photo.

Talks stall, parts of labor and business talk outside of the process

by Eric Jackson

Monday, April 12 was perhaps a fateful day for President Cortizo’s Social Security dialogue process. The Social Security Fund (Caja de Seguro Social or CSS) is approaching insolvency.

How quickly is a good question, but the 2006 “reforms” delivered much of its deposits to banks that in many cases squandered rather than profitably invested them, successive managements have looted the assets both on the health care and pension sides, employers deducted from paychecks and kept the money, and the dubious plan of 15 years ago was that working people who were told that they would not be eligible for any significant pensions from what they had already put in or could put in would keep paying into the system.

The informal sector of Panama’s economy thus grew — about half of the work force here does not pay into the CSS. From the start the “dialogue” was the business sector and those who do their bidding, with both those unions that initially participated and a number of the politicians who also were there at the start withdrawing as the plan unfolded and the government promoting it became increasingly unpopular.

The basic premise was / is that the rich do not pay taxes. It thus got into an extended and arcane discussion about “methodology,” with breathless and well-nigh incomprehensible reports in rabiblanco media like La Prensa about its progress. It’s about how many people will lose the ability to ever get a retirement or disability pension, how much more will get deducted from workers’ paychecks and how high the retirement age will be set. On the day that these things get announced, social disturbances are to be expected.

Labor and campus militants have been in the streets about it off and on for weeks, with police riot squads getting rougher with the students than with the workers. Perhaps the police can explain why that is, but so far they haven’t.

On April 12, La Estrella’s lead story was about how folks from the CONATO (National Council of Organized Workers) delegation that had left the talks some weeks before approached CoNEP (National Private Enterprise Council) representatives with a proposal to restart the process. CONATO would scrap this “round table” in which management greatly outnumbers labor and replace it with a tripartite process that puts all business in one corner, the government in general in another and a labor delegation that includes the International Labor Organization (ILO, a United Nations entity).

The United Nations secretary general, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund represent an emerging world consensus that the old neoliberal notions of lower taxes, lower wages, “free trade,” fewer regulations and subsidies that are supposed to provide incentives for rich people to invest are wholly inappropriate to the situation at hand. It is thought that with the ILO at the table, the premise that Panama’s richest people pay no more in taxes as part of a CSS rescue plan becomes a nonstarter.

According to La Estrella, CoNEP said that it would analyze the CONATO proposal instead of rejecting it out of hand.

Later, at that day’s “dialogue,” an agreement on “methodology” that had been expected did not materialize. The decision was postponed, at least for a couple of days. One reason for that was that of the 27 business sectors remaining in the process, only 11 were represented that day.

We shall see what, if anything, Nito Cortizo might jam through the talks, and then through the legislature. Indications are, however, that Plan A is off the rails. Any Plan B, however, would be constrained by the actually dire condition of the Social Security Fund. Also it would be constrained by the government’s unpopularity, which is not measured by any good public polling during the epidemic but which is manifested on the streets and in many other ways every day.

 

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Editorials: The police; and Taxes

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Trash pics
Does it help to have had one’s house broken into and things stolen, and the National Police won’t even take the complaint, to finally write an editorial like this? Actually, it gets in the way of calm deliberation. But certain things need to be said, and done. Montage of Policia Nacional trophy pics.

Enough of the corny public relations.
Let’s have professional and viable policing.

All of those trophy pictures, with the bundles of drugs carefully lined up, or the guns and money on a table, or the suspects with their faces concealed in custody. Far from garnering any public support, they just alienate the public.

See, when some person or institution keeps repeating delusional stuff, others stop paying attention. The “War on Drugs” has been lost for years, the profiteers on the “winning side” include people whose jobs are to enforce the law, and everybody knows that. The government may buy unnecessary ads from this or that medium in order to get the trophy pictures broadcast or in print, and the main result is a degradation of Panamanian journalism.

Cut it out!

Do we say “defund the police?” NO! We say stop spending money on stupid things. Spend it instead on the garden variety crimes that most often oppress people. Work with other institutions to divert desperate people to wiser solutions than crime.

So do we just ignore addiction, and the vicious gangs that thrive off of it? NO! We strike a death blow against those racketeers by legalizing and taxing things like marijuana and coca leaves. We treat smuggling through our territory to other countries as a national defense issue and a matter for courts elsewhere that are more difficult to bribe. We frankly and honestly ask kids, whether it’s about tobacco or crack or heroin, “Why do you want to waste your life like this?” — and then stand ready to address the real reasons.

This is not to suggest that it’s easy. Police work is not easy. Nor is it a tool that’s well suited to address every social problem. It will, however, be easier if and when all the pretenses and propaganda come to an end.

 

 

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Trickle down economics. Wikimedia graphic by Jason Carswell.

Now UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has joined the hue and cry for new taxes

During the more than a year of pandemic, the world’s richest people have increased their holdings by more than $5 trillion. It follows upon decades of neoliberal economic dogma that has been embraced by governments and international organizations. The premise is that by reducing taxes on the rich, suppressing wages for working people and cutting costs by automation and outsourcing, national and world economies will be a “rising tide” that “lifts all boats.” It has been tried and it has failed, even before the present crisis.

That stuff is now an unaffordable lie, and downright vicious things like letting the poor countries go unvaccinated or into a lost generation of impossible debt are what’s left of the late 20th century’s “wisdom.”

So the pillars of an old order start to wobble. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank precede Guterres in his call to impose a “solidarity or wealth tax” to finance a more humane and sustainable way out of the economic crisis that’s underway and that will outlive the health crisis.

In the United States and in Panama, the rich have taken almost everything and are demanding more, even as this epidemic continues to unfold. The never specifically stated beginning and end to every “dialogue” in Panama is that the rich don’t pay taxes. Unless the filibuster is ended – and maybe still, even if it does end – the Republican Party and powerful interests have dug in their heels against repealing Donald Trump’s massive 2017 tax cut for the ultra-rich.

There will be adaptations to present reality and future prospects, or there will be terrible conflicts.

 

 

3

Judgement comes from experience, and experience comes from bad judgement.

Simón Bolívar

Bear in mind….

Everyone knows the beautiful story of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac. How this noble father led his child to the slaughter; how Isaac meekly submitted; how the farce went on till the lad was bound and laid on the altar, and how God then stopped the murder, and blessed the intending murderer for his willingness to commit the crime.

Annie Besant

Only crime and the criminal, it is true, confront us with the perplexity of radical evil; but only the hypocrite is really rotten to the core.

Hannah Arendt

In order that punishment should not be an act of violence perpetrated by one or many upon a private citizen, it is essential that it should be public, speedy, necessary, the minimum possible in the given circumstances, proportionate to the crime, and determined by the law.

Cesare Beccaria

 

 

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¿Wappin? Lista de reproducción de David Young

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Raíces afrolatinas

Yoruba Andabo – Maria Rafaela
https://youtu.be/jE8wrgac95I

Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz – Sonido Bestial
https://youtu.be/lDfO9hyrEkg

Manny Oquendo Y Libre – Llora Timbero
https://youtu.be/Ju0W_x9WxKU

Conjunto Libre – Vengo Sabroso
https://youtu.be/HP74YJJCscM

Ricardo Ray – Comejen
https://youtu.be/URRP8HwOXhQ

Explosión Rumbera – Columbia
https://youtu.be/mwjL5_iQ0O0

Los Markitos – Yambu
https://youtu.be/2apS1VteaDE

Patato y Totico – Ya Yo E
https://youtu.be/Vw3kCcW7NK4

Rumberos de Cuba – Pancho Quinto 50th Birthday
https://youtu.be/zWW2AWdITio

Toby Muñoz – Picadillo Panameño
https://youtu.be/Hl5DFXYpy8w

Ismael Rivera en TV de Ecuador
https://youtu.be/uhdK4oUKpWA

 

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About coronavirus mutations

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tiny little freaks
The presentation. WiR Pixs – Pixabay graphic.

How worried should you be about coronavirus variants?
A virologist explains his concerns

by Paulo Verardi, University of Connecticut

Spring has sprung, and there is a sense of relief in the air. After one year of lockdowns and social distancing, more than 171 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the U.S. and about 19.4% of the population is fully vaccinated. But there is something else in the air: ominous SARS-CoV-2 variants.

I am a virologist and vaccinologist, which means that I spend my days studying viruses and designing and testing vaccine strategies against viral diseases. In the case of SARS-CoV-2, this work has taken on greater urgency. We humans are in a race to become immune against this cagey virus, whose ability to mutate and adapt seems to be a step ahead of our capacity to gain herd immunity. Because of the variants that are emerging, it could be a race to the wire.

A variant in Brazil is overwhelming the country’s health care system.

Five variants to watch

RNA viruses like SARS-CoV-2 constantly mutate as they make more copies of themselves. Most of these mutations end up being disadvantageous to the virus and therefore disappear through natural selection.

Occasionally, though, they offer a benefit to the mutated or so-called genetic-variant virus. An example would be a mutation that improves the ability of the virus to attach more tightly to human cells, thus enhancing viral replication. Another would be a mutation that allows the virus to spread more easily from person to person, thus increasing transmissibility.

None of this is surprising for a virus that is a fresh arrival in the human population and still adapting to humans as hosts. While viruses don’t think, they are governed by the same evolutionary drive that all organisms are – their first order of business is to perpetuate themselves.

These mutations have resulted in several new SARS-CoV-2 variants, leading to outbreak clusters, and in some cases, global spread. They are broadly classified as variants of interest, concern or high consequence.

Currently there are five variants of concern circulating in the U.S.: the B.1.1.7, which originated in the U.K.; the B.1.351., of South African origin; the P.1., first seen in Brazil; and the B.1.427 and B.1.429, both originating in California.

Each of these variants has a number of mutations, and some of these are key mutations in critical regions of the viral genome. Because the spike protein is required for the virus to attach to human cells, it carries a number of these key mutations. In addition, antibodies that neutralize the virus typically bind to the spike protein, thus making the spike sequence or protein a key component of COVID-19 vaccines.

India and California have recently detected “double mutant” variants that, although not yet classified, have gained international interest. They have one key mutation in the spike protein similar to one found in the Brazilian and South African variants, and another already found in the B.1.427 and B.1.429 California variants. As of today, no variant has been classified as of high consequence, although the concern is that this could change as new variants emerge and we learn more about the variants already circulating.

More transmission and worse disease

These variants are worrisome for several reasons. First, the SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern generally spread from person to person at least 20% to 50% more easily. This allows them to infect more people and to spread more quickly and widely, eventually becoming the predominant strain.

For example, the B.1.1.7 U.K. variant that was first detected in the U.S. in December 2020 is now the prevalent circulating strain in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27.2% of all cases by mid-March. Likewise, the P.1 variant first detected in travelers from Brazil in January is now wreaking havoc in Brazil, where it is causing a collapse of the health care system and led to at least 60,000 deaths in the month of March.

Second, SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern can also lead to more severe disease and increased hospitalizations and deaths. In other words, they may have enhanced virulence. Indeed, a recent study in England suggests that the B.1.1.7 variant causes more severe illness and mortality.

Another concern is that these new variants can escape the immunity elicited by natural infection or our current vaccination efforts. For example, antibodies from people who recovered after infection or who have received a vaccine may not be able to bind as efficiently to a new variant virus, resulting in reduced neutralization of that variant virus. This could lead to reinfections and lower the effectiveness of current monoclonal antibody treatments and vaccines.

Researchers are intensely investigating whether there will be reduced vaccine efficacy against these variants. While most vaccines seem to remain effective against the U.K. variant, one recent study showed that the AstraZeneca vaccine lacks efficacy in preventing mild to moderate COVID-19 due to the B.1.351 South African variant.

On the other hand, Pfizer recently announced data from a subset of volunteers in South Africa that supports high efficacy of its mRNA vaccine against the B.1.351 variant. Other encouraging news is that T-cell immune responses elicited by natural SARS-CoV-2 infection or mRNA vaccination recognize all three U.K., South Africa, and Brazil variants. This suggests that even with reduced neutralizing antibody activity, T-cell responses stimulated by vaccination or natural infection will provide a degree of protection against such variants.

Stay vigilant, and get vaccinated

What does this all mean? While current vaccines may not prevent mild symptomatic COVID-19 caused by these variants, they will likely prevent moderate and severe disease, and in particular hospitalizations and deaths. That is the good news.

However, it is imperative to assume that current SARS-CoV-2 variants will likely continue to evolve and adapt. In a recent survey of 77 epidemiologists from 28 countries, the majority believed that within a year current vaccines could need to be updated to better handle new variants, and that low vaccine coverage will likely facilitate the emergence of such variants.

What do we need to do? We need to keep doing what we have been doing: using masks, avoiding poorly ventilated areas, and practicing social distancing techniques to slow transmission and avert further waves driven by these new variants. We also need to vaccinate as many people in as many places and as soon as possible to reduce the number of cases and the likelihood for the virus to generate new variants and escape mutants. And for that, it is vital that public health officials, governments and nongovernmental organizations address vaccine hesitancy and equity both locally and globally.

[Insight, in your inbox each day. You can get it with The Conversation’s email newsletter.]The Conversation

Paulo Verardi, Associate Professor of Virology and Vaccinology, University of Connecticut

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

 

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Hacia la primera invasión militar estadounidense a Panamá, hace 165 años

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filibusters
En aquellos días, los “filibusteros” eran milicias racistas blancas que pretendían conquistar partes de América Latina y el Caribe para crear nuevos estados esclavistas en los Estados Unidos y así inclinar la balanza del Senado estadounidense hacia los intereses esclavistas.

El Incidente de la Tajada de Sandía y el filibusterismo

por Olmedo Beluche

Desde la debacle del imperio colonial español, con las guerras de independencia, a inicios del siglo XIX, Centroamérica, y en particular Nicaragua y Panamá, eran vistas con codicia tanto por Inglaterra como por la emergente potencia norteamericana. Ambas naciones eran conscientes que el control del Istmo catapultaría sus intereses comerciales.
Hacia la década de 1840, Inglaterra parecía el principal peligro pues había iniciado un proceso de influencia y colonización sobre todo el Caribe centroamericano, desde Belice, pasando por Nicaragua, hasta lo que hoy es la provincia de Bocas del Toro en Panamá.

Aquí inclusive habían movido sus fichas con algunos capitalistas que oficiaban de agentes comerciales de los ingleses para proponer en diversos momentos la creación de una ciudad “hanseática”, es decir, separarla de la soberanía neogranadina para, en nombre de una falsa autonomía, sujetarla a Inglaterra cuya cabeza de playa se hallaba en Jamaica.

Diversos incidentes con los ingleses, por entonces la principal potencia naval del mundo, llevaron a la diplomacia neogranadina a firmar, en 1846, el Tratado Mallarino-Bidlack, por el cual la Nueva Granada ofrecía a Estados Unidos paso libre de impuestos a cambio de que sirviera de garante a su soberanía sobre el Istmo de Panamá. La intención inicial era que el tratado sirviera de contención a los intereses expansionistas de los ingleses, los cuales se verían confrontados con los norteamericanos. Pero a la larga fue una mala jugada que dio pie al intervencionismo norteamericano.

Una década después de firmado ese pacto, el expansionismo que se había tornado concreto y peligroso era el norteamericano. Uno de los subproductos de la guerra contra México fue el surgimiento de bandas paramilitares norteamericanas que empezaron a actuar en la región para imponer por la fuerza sus intereses. Eran bandas privadas, parecidas a lo que hoy serían las empresas de “seguridad”, al estilo de Blackwater. Se les llamó filibusteros.
El más conocido filibustero fue William Walker, contratado por empresarios norteamericanos para imponer su control en Nicaragua, y que terminó autoproclamándose presidente de ese país, justamente en 1855. Walker pretendió que Nicaragua fuera anexionada a Estados Unidos como un estado más. Lo cual no logró, siendo derrocado en 1856 y posteriormente ejecutado hacia 1860 en Honduras.

La lucha contra Walker había revivido los sentimientos de unidad latinoamericanos y, de hecho, es la lucha unificada de los centroamericanos la que le expulsa de Nicaragua. El historiador Aims McGuinness afirma que de esta época data el concepto “latinoamericano” por oposición al “anglosajón”, y un renovado sentimiento de unidad hispana contra la dominación norteamericana, que había quedado dormido tras el fracaso de Simón Bolívar. El panameño Justo Arosemena sería uno de los primeros en apelar a esta idea a mediados del XIX.

Un elemento poco conocido en Panamá es que los filibusteros tuvieron un papel relevante en el Incidente de la Tajada de Sandía. Según Aims, el 15 de abril de 1856, se encontraban en Panamá unos 40 filibusteros que se dirigían a Nicaragua para reforzar el ilegítimo gobierno de Walker. La prensa panameña había alertado de su presencia, prevaleciendo el temor de que podrían intentar aquí una aventura semejante a la de Nicaragua.

Y no estaban errados quienes así creían, pues las indagaciones judiciales posteriores informan que los filibusteros jugaron un papel central en el enfrentamiento. Uno de ellos, Joseph Stokes, muerto en la estación del ferrocarril, liderizó la resistencia armada contra las autoridades panameñas. Lo cual fue reconocido por Horace Bell, otro de los filibusteros, quien llegaría a ser cronista en la ciudad de Los Ángeles, California.

La fuerza demostrada por el pueblo panameño durante el “incidente”, no constituyó simplemente una respuesta frente a la marginación y el racismo yanquis, sino que fue una lucha consciente contra cualquier intento anexionista de los norteamericanos, un acto de solidaridad con el hermano pueblo de Nicaragua, y un gesto hacia la unidad latinoamericana.

Pocos meses después, en septiembre de 1856, el gobernador conservador, Francisco de Fábrega, solicitó la primera intervención armada del ejército norteamericano en Panamá, apelando al Tratado Mallarino/Bidlack, para que le asegurara las elecciones que temía perder a manos de los liberales radicales del arrabal.

 

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¿Wappin? “The Blues” won’t quite translate – but you’ll know

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blues
“Every day I have the blues.” Photo by Simone Berna.

Low-down and dirty – THAT translates
Baja y sucia – ESO se traduce

Otis Taylor – Hey Joe
https://youtu.be/_ZHpbMnExSk

Bessie Smith – Send Me to the Electric Chair
https://youtu.be/WrCHsL68AZQ

Joshue Ashby & C3 Project – Andy Blues
https://youtu.be/siy_I19iwwU

St. Vincent – The Melting Of The Sun
https://youtu.be/6oji2hmpzvM

Janis Joplin – Summertime
https://youtu.be/guKoNCQFAFk

Jimi Hendrix – Villanova Junction
https://youtu.be/dQwwxiBjLzI

Cream – Spoonful
https://youtu.be/hH_YhoULx4A

Valerie Wellington – Bad Avenue
https://youtu.be/a724ZAroPNg

John Lee Hooker – I’m Bad Like Jesse James
https://youtu.be/SBacb2sFdbU

Joss Stone – Here Comes the Rain Again
https://youtu.be/MmduDP-JNLQ

Pink Floyd – Echoes
https://youtu.be/y-E7_VHLvkE

Mon Laferte & Gloria Trevi – La Mujer
https://youtu.be/eb3WKu50oII

Robert Johnson – Me and the Devil Blues
https://youtu.be/3MCHI23FTP8

Archie Shepp – Attica Blues
https://youtu.be/xzcaO1CfBlo

 

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The Panama News blog links, April 9, 2021

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The Panama News blog links

a Panama-centric selection of other people’s work
una selección Panamá-céntrica de las obras de otras personas

Canal, Maritime & Transportation / Canal, Marítima & Transporte

Metro Libre, Sindicato logra acuerdo salarial y suspende huelga en Manzanillo
ALAI, Chinese ports and docks in Latin America
El País, La pandemia complica más el futuro de KLM
Reuters, Florida sues Biden Administration in bid to restart cruise industry
Seatrade, Offshore wind is set to be a growth area along the US East Coast
Mundo Marítimo, Accidente del “Ever Given” repercutirá en las facturas de P&I

2
The Saviz, an Iranian ship attacked in the Red Sea by Israelis with limpet mines.

Economy / Economía

EFE, El FMI propone un impuesto temporal a los más ricos
The Guardian, How would a global minimum tax work and why is it needed?
La Prensa, La Caja de Ahorros no responde sobre las cuentas de Martinelli
Mildner, Toxic bosses should be the next to face #MeToo-type reprisals
Metro Libre, Sector hotelero enfrenta lenta reactivación, solo 8% de ocupación

3
Student protesters thinking ahead to retirement – with little or no pension system.

Science & Technology / Ciencia & Teconología

TVN, Panamá cuenta con una nueva especie de rana arlequín
Güemes, Siete plantas para comprender a Darwin
Mongabay, Creative thinking, 3D printers save injured wildlife
Science News, How the beef industry can cut emissions
The Guardian, Facebook won’t notify more than 530m users exposed in breach
Vice, Facebook says it’s your fault that hackers got your phone number
The New York Times, Expert witness pinpoints Floyd’s final breath
Mongabay, Orejas electrónicas espían a los cazadores del jaguar
Richardson, Marine life is fleeing the equator to cooler waters

4
Megalodón: ¡Entra al link y descubre un mundo virtual! https://stri.si.edu/megalodon/index.html

News / Noticias

World Economic Forum, Panama’s fight for women’s economic independence
El Siglo, ‘Chichi’ estaba escondido en Italia
DW, Panama’s first conviction for abuse in children’s shelters
Tico Times, Costa Rica’s land borders reopen to tourists
AFP, Iran’s Rouhani says Vienna talks open a new chapter
AFP, Biden pide prohibir que particulares tengan “fusiles de asalto” en EEUU
WSJ, Trump Organization hires criminal defense lawyer
Vanity Fair, Investigators just got a trove of documents that could nail Donald Trump

5

Opinion / Opiniones

Eno et al, The austerity doctrine in the time of coronavirus
Chen, A New Deal for informal workers
Khrushcheva, Disorder from the courts
Batista Guevara, A 62 años del levantamiento del Cerro Tute
Cheng Peñalba, Ciegos que no quieren ver
Turner, El CROAN es inconstitucional
Meilán, Panama Ports y su bombardeo mediático
Alfaro, Los ciudadanos siempre vamos de último

Culture / Cultura

Blades, Vitín Paz
The Guardian, The Jewish cartoonists who fled the Nazis
Vox, The legacy of Satanic panic
El País, Anti-Trump artist Edel Rodriguez: ‘I never draw anything that isn’t true’
BBC, The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: The 2700-year-old ‘fake news’
Remezcla, Eva Longoria to direct ‘The Gordita Chronicles’ comedy pilot

 

Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

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