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Democrats Live with Tom Perez and Keith Ellison

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Democrats Live with Tom Perez and Keith Ellison

They want to hear what Democrats think: click here.

 

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Interpretation of a regulation shuts down Paso Canoas border runs

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Migra
A group of 57 Venezuelans were left stranded as the test case, but Migracion is not excluding gringos from its crackdown on permanent tourists. Non-citizens can get a three-month tourist visa, for which there can be a three-month extension. Then they have to go back to their countries of origin rather than hopping across the border to get their passports stamped again. This is a functional interpretation of regulations in two decrees, numbers 590 and 591, that were issued in December to implement the existing immigration law. There have been contradictory statements and inconsistent actions about these, both from the Panamanian government and others.

Warning for permanent tourists

by Eric Jackson

Are you going to take the American Embassy as the authoritative word? Or how about someone on the social media who got the scoop from a Panamanian lawyer who in turn is working the gringo community for new clients? For that matter, even from Panama’s Servicio Nacional de Migracion? Do pay attention to those folks, but also understand that discretion, arbitrary interpretations, shifts with the political winds, slow and garbled transmissions of policy changes down official chains of command and from time to time the grease of bribery may affect the rules applied by a particular public official to a particular person at a particular time. If you can’t understand and adapt to the flexibility then most probably you have not fully adapted to life in Panama.

Migracion has set forth the basic rule that they are enforcing at the moment at Paso Canoa: “Foreigners who leave to Costa Rica to stamp their passports to enter as tourists will not enter Panama.” So do you say that this just means Venes? Whether that is how it may be as a practical matter, Panama’s Minister of Security warns that the law and regulations only allow a six-month continuous stay as a tourist and that “we will continue implementing our policy for the welfare of Panamanians and for persons who want to visit our country.”

There may be any number of reasons, and there is probably a mix of several. There are racist demagogues whipping up xenophobic hysteria. There are slavish imitators who have a national inferiority complex that gives them the compulsion to copy the United States, and they see what Donald Trump is doing. There are Venezuelans and Americans who believe themselves to be sovereign unto themselves and privileged persons who are necessary to the economy of a Panama that they view as hopelessly backward. There is a criminal element of many nationalities coming and going to and from Panama. The economy is slowing down and there are concerns about foreigners taking jobs from Panamanians. This country has one of the world’s worst school systems and those who get foreign educations are frequently raised in a subculture that disdains work, such that there are important jobs in the national economy for which it is hard to find Panamanians to perform.

We might argue the pros and cons of the issue but those who purport to speak for the interests of the American community are for a variety of reasons unable or unwilling to do so in any effective way.

But if you have been living the permanent tourist life, beware.

 

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International Women’s Day — Sojourner Truth

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Sojourner
Sojourner Truth, born a slave in 1797, escaped with her daughter, took the name Sojourner Truth and joined movements to abolish slavery and emancipate women. She died in 1883, as Jim Crow laws were reimposing badges of slavery and before women got the vote.

Ain’t I a Woman?

Sojourner Truth’s speech to the December 1851 Women’s Convention in Akron, Ohio

Well, children, where there is so much racket there must be something out of kilter. I think that ‘twixt the negroes of the South and the women at the North, all talking about rights, the white men will be in a fix pretty soon. But what’s all this here talking about?

That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain’t I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man — when I could get it — and bear the lash as well! And ain’t I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother’s grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain’t I a woman?

Then they talk about this thing in the head; what’s this they call it? [member of audience whispers, “intellect”] That’s it, honey. What’s that got to do with women’s rights or negroes’ rights? If my cup won’t hold but a pint, and yours holds a quart, wouldn’t you be mean not to let me have my little half measure full?

Then that little man in black there, he says women can’t have as much rights as men, ’cause Christ wasn’t a woman! Where did your Christ come from? Where did your Christ come from? From God and a woman! Man had nothing to do with Him.

If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back , and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.

Obliged to you for hearing me, and now old Sojourner ain’t got nothing more to say.

 

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Pastoral Indígena, Duele nuestro corazón

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Antón
Una fuerza de bomberos, Sinaproc, policias y otros rescatando los sobrevivientes del accidente del bus en Antón. Foto por el Benmérito Cuerpo de Bomberos.

Rechazamos rotundamente la idea de que “dios lo permitió”

por la Pastoral Indígena de la Arquidiócesis de Panamá

Duele nuestro corazón

El domingo 5 de marzo fuimos sorprendidos por una desgracia: el accidente en el que han muerto 19 hermanos ngäbe que venían a trabajar en Chame.

Ante esta situación expresamos lo siguiente:

1] Nos duele profundamente y estamos tristes por este hecho. Al igual que nos ha dolido los tres muertos en el accidente de la carretera hacia Cerro Viejo (Comarca Ng-B) y las dos niñas ahogadas en el río Calobébora (también Comarca Ng-B), hace poco.

2] Nos sentimos solidarios con sus familias y estamos disponibles para lo que podamos ayudar.

3] Son muchas las preguntas que se juntan en nuestras mentes pero la principal es: ¿Por qué a los más pobres les suceden estas cosas? Rechazamos rotundamente la idea de que “dios lo permitió” o que “era la hora en que tenían que morir” o que “así es el destino”. No creemos en ese dios terrible ni creemos en el futuro ya determinado. Sí creemos que hay errores y fallos humanos que propician estos accidentes mortales.

4] Son muchos los errores humanos (¿ilegalidades?) que se plantean en estos hechos. Los que conocemos los caminos de la Comarca Ng-B sabemos de lo estrechas que son la mayoría de las carreteras (donde las hay), lo mal hechas que están y cómo no hay ningún control de velocidad ni mantenimiento. No digamos la falta de puentes o zarzos para cruzar ríos peligrosos.

5] Nos parece bien y loable que el gobierno y otras instituciones se movilicen para ayudar a los afectados. Es lo menos que se puede hacer ante una tragedia de esta magnitud. Un buen número de familias humildes han quedado muy afectadas con este hecho.

6] Sin embargo, ante el accidente del domingo 5 preguntamos: ¿Quién autorizó ese viaje?, ¿qué permisos tenía?, ¿cuál es la compañía responsable del bus?, ¿cuántos venían en el mismo?, ¿tenía seguro?, ¿a qué velocidad venía el bus?, ¿en qué condiciones estaba el bus?, si es homicidio culposo, ¿quién es culpable ahora que murió el chofer?, ¿quién contrató a los ngäbe?, ¿qué tan ‘normales’ son este tipo de traslados?, ¿tienen algún contrato?, ¿cuánto les pagan a los contratados? Es obligatoria y urgente una investigación al respecto. Exigimos que se haga.

Que Ngöbö, Paba-Nana, Ankoré, Ewandam, Sboré, nuestro Dios, Padre-Madre, reciba a los fallecidos, consuele a sus familias, proteja a sus hijos, nos ayude a ayudarnos y nos dé esperanza en un futuro más justo y digno para todos.

 

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Gabbard, Instead of a travel ban

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Instead of a travel ban

by Tulsi Gabbard

As we look around us at the chaos in the world today, we see people who are inflicting violence and terror upon others in the name of religion and identity. This bloodshed is only going to be stopped with a message that rings true across all religions. Love. I spoke about this on Sunday at the 10th Annual Prophet Muhammad Day at Rutgers University. The next day the Trump administration issued a new executive order revising their original, illegal travel ban.

We should not be putting in place a blanket ban of refugees, especially when we have actively been fueling the counterproductive regime change wars that have caused them to flee their homes in the first place. These people would much rather stay in their homes and live in peace. That’s why we must address the cause of this refugee crisis and end the destructive US policy of counterproductive regime change wars, as we’ve seen most recently in Iraq, Libya and now in Syria.

No matter where you’re from, no matter what religion you practice, your ethnicity, race, or anything else  — what is it that can bring us together as people? It is, what we call in Hawaii, aloha… sincere, deep love and respect for other people as children of God. I am determined to fight for the American people, to fight for peace, fight to end this counterproductive, illegal regime change war in Syria. This war does not serve the interests of the Syrian people, nor does it serve the interests of the American people.

Will you help spread my my message of aloha by sharing Sunday’s speech? In order for there to be peace, it is essential that we become ever more respectful and loving of others, regardless of our differences in religion, race, ethnicity, or nationality.

Only such mutual respect and love can unite humanity and ensure our country a bright and peaceful future that we all want.

 

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CCI, Carta abierta al Dr. Flores

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CCI

Carta abierta al rector

Doctor Eduardo Flores
Rector de la Universidad de Panamá
Ciudad Universitaria
Panamá, Republica de Panamá
E. S. D.

Respetado Sr. Rector

El Movimiento de Ciudadanos Contra la Impunidad (CCI), como es de su conocimiento, lleva a cabo, una serie de actividades ciudadanas, con el propósito de denunciar, combatir y repudiar la corrupción y la impunidad, que pretenden destruir a nuestra Patria.

Inicialmente, antes de dar vida a este Movimiento Cívico, nos dirigimos a Usted en su calidad de Rector de nuestra primera Casa de estudios, para que la Universidad de Panamá, tornara la bandera contra la corrupción y fuese Portaestandarte del sentir Nacional, por ser la llamada a jugar el papel relevante en la vida de nuestra Nación, tal como Ud. Manifestara durante su campaña para aspirar al alto cargo que hoy detenta y convocase la opinión del pueblo Panameño para que el escándalo de Odebrecht fuese debidamente denunciado e investigado y sus autores condenados de acuerdo a nuestro ordenamiento jurídico, sin dilaciones ni encubrimientos.

Su respuesta esquiva y negativa de entonces, nos sorprende hoy de sobremanera, al saber que Ud. está organizando un “Congreso Universitario “del 8 al 10 de marzo, exclusivamente para “discutir posibles cambios a la Ley Orgánica de la Universidad de Panamá”, especialmente lo relativo a garantizar su reelección en el cargo recién asumido.

La situación que vive nuestro país con motivo del Caso Odebrecht, no le es desconocida y, por ello, el CCI se pregunta qué motiva el que nuestra Universidad se abstenga de tener una activa participación en la organización de un permanente debate académico que aborde la discusión sobre la corrupción y la impunidad, de presencia rampante y ofensiva en el quehacer de la Republica, para que la juventud universitaria pueda ser instruida y vacunada contra estas nefastas prácticas.

Reiteramos nuestro llamado patriótico para que la Universidad vuelva a ser conciencia crítica y faro de luz de nuestros compatriotas y se avoque a la convocatoria de un Gran Debate Nacional en toda la sede central de nuestra capital, en todos sus Centros Regionales, en todas sus aulas, sobre el acontecer nacional con el decidido repudio público a las prácticas de corrupción e impunidad, tan en boga en nuestros días.

Ello sin duda alguna, es mucho más importante que la “reelección” de las recién electas autoridades universitarias.

Don Octavio Méndez Pereira, primer Rector de la Universidad, y antecesor suyo nos enseñó que:

Es uno de los imperativos de una Universidad Moderna, sentir y tratar de remediar las hondas conmociones que sacuden a la humanidad, abrir sus puertas y ventanas para echarse a la calle y renovar su ciencia con la vida, mezclar su cultura con las grandes inquietudes del mundo que la rodea, con los bajos fondos de la existencia colectiva.

y nosotros agregamos para que se haga la luz en la administración de Justicia en donde hoy rondan las Tinieblas de la impunidad.

En la seguridad que el Sr. Rector de la Universidad Nacional de Panamá, sabrá escuchar nuestro respetuoso llamado y por su conducto, a la conciencia colectiva universitaria orientada por la mejor intelectualidad y la Juventud de nuestro país; haciendo honor a los prohombres que le antecedieron en tan meritorio cargo.

Atentamente,

Dr. Alfredo Oranges Bustos
Coordinador CCI- Cedula 8-1121-942

 

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¿Wappin? Looking away in time and place after Carnival

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Isabel PantojaIsabel Pantoja. Foto por Carlos Delgado.

¿Wappin? Looking out in time and place from The Crossroads of The World

The Supremes – My World Is Empty Without You
https://youtu.be/dObwPyAKyw8

Robert Johnson – Love in Vain
https://youtu.be/SnsBlY4rKwM

Bob Marley – Wait in Vain
https://youtu.be/8WQVb_nuKvs

Carly Simon – You’re So Vain
https://youtu.be/mQZmCJUSC6g

Zahara & Robbie Malinga – Bengirongo
https://youtu.be/egbYl7UlSWo

Youssou Ndour – Djiguene Gni
https://youtu.be/zZweEsGkmIo

Panteón Rococó & Denise Gutiérrez – La Dosis Perfecta
https://youtu.be/fZbusX0dt9o

Mon Laferte & Juanes – Amárrame
https://youtu.be/l_ZyDlTfndE

Romeo Santos – Vale La Pena El Placer
https://youtu.be/Eqd03Ms1ip4

Santana – Soul Sacrifice
https://youtu.be/7dTH32ClRwI

Babatunde Olatunji – Jin-Go-Lo-Ba
https://youtu.be/ZYhFyF8dvU4

Herbie Hancock – Chameleon
https://youtu.be/UbkqE4fpvdI

Rolling Stones – Paint It Black
https://youtu.be/O4irXQhgMqg

Sippie Wallace – Murder Gonna Be My Crime
https://youtu.be/6Xzyg5V4Ks8

Isabel Pantoja – Festival de Viña del Mar 2017
https://youtu.be/xri9wGWdtlQ

 

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Things to do

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biomueso

ACP Cultural Billboard

THEATER
• Metropolitan opera live and HD. Theater of the Visitor Center of Miraflores. March 11, from 11 am. Broadcast HD live from the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Tickets on sale in Development Golf Coronado.
• “The adventures of the pirate Sinbad in the seven seas”, from 11 February to 26 March. Saturdays 5:00 pm Sundays at 11:30 am / 2:00 pm / 4:00 pm in “Bambalinas at Teatro La Estación. Reserve at 203-6662 or teatroestacion@gmail.com Discount for ACP employee.

MUSIC
• Serious Rock Night – February 4, 8 pm- 1am. Pineapple Skull, Old Town. Series of presentations that includes the maximum exponents of Panamanian rock music. Free pass.
• Classical guitar night – Prisma hall, Hotel Riu Plaza, Calle 50, March 4, from 8 to 11 pm. Recital of classical music by the Argentine guitarist Néstor Benito. For reservations call 6208-4764.

VARIOUS
• Biomuseo
* Activities for children from four to 12 years. For more information write to ventas@biomuseopanama.org
* Entrance to the galleries will be free on Sunday, March 5 from 10 am to noon for Panamanians and residents who show their identification. Tickets can be used all day until closing time at 5 pm.
• Smithsonian Summer – for future scientists between the ages of seven and 12. The activity seeks to cultivate the curiosity of children in a fun, motivating and educational environment. For more information write to puntaculebra@si.edu or call 212-8793.
• Summer season at the UP – until March 24. 8:00 pm (Tuesday to Saturday) and 4:00 pm (Sunday), at the University of Panama. There will be workshops of plastic arts, mixed volleyball, classical dance, folkloric, modern fusion and hip-hop, among others. There are also scheduled shows such as the choreography presentation of the Coraza Group and the musical concert of the UP Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information call 523-5000.
• “Via Plural”, street art festival. Central Avenue and Old Town, February 4, 9 am, Participation of national and international artists, creating interactions directly on the streets.
• Urban market, avenue of the market, in front of La Plaza. City of Knowledge, Clayton
• Night of bats in Gamboa, March 5, 7 to 9 p.m. Laboratory of Gamboa of STRI. Open public event for the whole family. Attendees will be able to observe live bats, caught in mist nets and learn about their natural history. Free pass. Www.PageLab.WixSite.com/BatNights
• Festival of comets and tambourines, March 12, Panama Pacific Complex, former Howard base. 11am – 6pm. Festival of Chinese culture with kites, traditional tambourines. Event organized by Aprochipa, www.Aprochipa

REMEMBER TO VISIT
• Miraflores Visitor Center – open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Tel: 276-8617 and 276-8427.
• Agua Clara Visitor Center – Gatun – open every day from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Tel: 443-5727.
• Interoceanic Canal Museum – open Tuesday through Sunday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm – Tel: 211-1649 / 211-1650.
• Museum of Biodiversity – Amateur. Monday 10:00 am-4pm- Wednesday and Thursday 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Tuesday Closed.
• El Níspero- Zoo in El Valle de Antón – open every day from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
• Metropolitan Natural Park – Open daily from 6:00 am to 5:00 pm – Tels: 232-5552 / 5516.
• Archaeological Park El Caño – Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.- Monday and public holidays: closed.
• Church of Natá- visit with specialized guide of the INAC- Tuesday to Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.
• Explora Museum – interactive museum for children – Condado del Rey.
• Anthropological and Ethnographic Museum Dr. Roberto de la Guardia – located at the Félix Olivares School in David – open to the public from Monday to Friday – from 9:00 am to 12 noon and from 1:00 to 3:00 pm – guided visits – Information: 775-2854.

bohemio

 

Nestor Benito

 

IFF

 

Picasso

 

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Port of Corozal bids due despite doubts and objections

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ACP stuff.
The Panama Canal Authority has come up with all sorts of charts and hype, but the worldwide shipping and ports sectors are in a long slump and structural changes in the world economy may keep them from ever coming back as far as Panama is concerned. But PanCanal publicists — who in 2006 used public funds to promise that the canal expansion would create a quarter of a million jobs — apparently count on a short and superficial public attention span.

Bids due for Corozal port

by Eric Jackson

After many delays and politically forced revisions that kept the Motta family and others out of the running, bids are due to be presented to the Panama Canal Authority by those prequalified companies that want to build and run a seaport at Corozal and Diablo. The companies that will be allowed to submit bids — and some of them may not — are two Dutch enterprises, APM Terminals BV and Terminal Investment Limited SA, the French Terminal Link and the partially Singaporean state-owned PSA International Pte Ltd. The latter currently runs a small port facility on the west side of the canal, just north of the old US naval station at Rodman.

Worldwide port business has its ups and downs, in the context of a global shipping industry that’s well over capacity. Panama’s current local problems are largely those of Northern South America, for which we are a transportation hub and wholesaling and warehousing center. Low oil prices have collapsed Venezuela’s economy and weakened those of Brazil and Ecuador, cutting their demand for things coming through the Panama Canal or sold at our duty-free import and export zones.

(One rarely reads about the woes of Panama’s ports and duty-free zones in the worldwide English-language press these days. Google News in particular has set its algorithms to play up this idyllic view of and “invest NOW!” hype about the Panamanian economy, such that made-up stuff by International Living and its ilk takes precedence over day-to-day facts that are commonplace in the Panamanian media. Would-be investors in Panama should be careful, do their due diligence in Spanish as well as English and dig deeper than Google searches.)

If, led by the United States, countries insist upon the manufacturing of things for their markets within the country, that would have a negative effect on worldwide shipping. There are new rail and Arctic routes coming, and possibly a canal through Nicaragua, which will add competition to the Panama Canal. We don’t know what emerging manufacturing and energy technologies bode for the Panama Canal over the long term. Thus investment in a new port in Panama is a risky bet.

And why is the Panama Canal Authority doing this, rather than the Panama Maritime Authority that has until now had dibs of the port business? There can be and are various sinister theories about political racketeers angling for pieces of the action, but the more obvious thing is that the usage and revenue projections that the ACP made a decade ago were way too optimistic and the canal authority is now looking for new sources of revenue besides the tolls that ships pay to pass through the waterway.

The bids are due at 3:00 p.m. on March 3, said deadline having been moved back several times. Then there will be evaluations and decisions about which, if any, of the bids will be accepted. It may be down to a single bidder, or no bidder, or bids lower than the ACP would accept.

Beyond that, the pending lawsuits related to this port project — for compensation by people whose Diablo boat sheds were taken, by residents of Diablo trying to fend off eminent domain, by people and organizations with constitutional objections to an expanded ACP role in Panama’s economy, by companies that were excluded from bidding on the port project, by Panama Ports that does not want the competition and so on — have proliferated and now approach two dozen. Plus the legislature has not yet approved a new ports concession and may move to block it. There are also people in the ACP and Ministry of Canal Affairs who may be affected by the Odebrecht and Moncada Luna corruption scandals. Meanwhile, litigation related to the lowball bid accepted by the ACP for the construction of the new locks has yet to run its course.

Thus the Port of Corozal project advances, but with tentative steps.

 

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Women picketing a woman for International Women’s Day

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take her away
So, does being female mean being in need of special protection? Not to Panama’s feminists, who will be picketing the office of arguably the country’s highest-ranking female public official.

No slack for Attorney General Kenia Porcell on International Women’s Day!

From 8 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, March 8, there will be feminists picketing in front of the Public Ministry (across from Parque Porras), where Attorney General Kenia Porcell works. It might be argued that Vice President and Foreign Minister Isabel de Saint Malo ranks higher than Porcell, but the VP is pretty much subordinate to President Varela, while the AG is pretty much autonomous. Regardless, it seems that the Odebrecht scandal involves very few women, that it was greedy men paying and receiving the bribes. But the women of this country paid just like the men, and because there is systematic discrimination in job opportunities and pay scales on the whole women could afford the corruption tax less than men.

In any case March 8 is International Women’s Day. To start the day’s observances local feminists felt it appropriate to picket Porcell’s office that morning. There is great apprehension, given a new plea bargaining law, that Porcell might make a deal that lets Odebrecht pay a fine and allows those whom it bribed to go unidentified and unpunished.

There are many other issues that feminists have with the legal system of which Porcell is a major leader. The high incidence of violence against women, pervasive gender discrimination, impunity for money laundering of assets stolen from women in the course of divorce proceedings and lax enforcement of child support orders are some of the grievances.

 

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