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ASOPROF, Despidos masivos en educación pública

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Kermit’s birds / Las aves de Kermit

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rufous motmot
Rufous Motmot ~ Momoto Rufo ~ Baryphthengus martii. Found at / encontrado en Cerro Azul, at 2,105 feet above sea level / 2,105 pies sobre el nivel del mar. © Kermit Nourse. 

Rufous Motmot / Momoto Rufo

This bird is a forest dweller known to sit quietly, making it a little difficult to spot. It feeds on a variety of things such as fruit and invertebrates. You find it in lowland forests on both sides of the isthmus and in the hills of Cocle and Veraguas provinces. There are lots of them in the canal area, more on the Atlantic Side than the Pacific. The species ranges from down the length of the Meso-American Isthmus to Ecuador and into the western parts of Amazonia.

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Este pájaro es un habitante del bosque conocido por sentarse en silencio, lo que hace que sea un poco difícil de detectar. Se alimenta de una variedad de cosas como frutas e invertebrados. Lo encuentras en bosques de tierras bajas a ambos lados del istmo y en las colinas de las provincias de Coclé y Veraguas. Hay muchos de ellos en el área del canal, más en el Atlántico que en el Pacífico. La especie abarca desde la longitud del istmo mesoamericano hasta Ecuador y hasta las partes occidentales de la Amazonía.

 


 

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Gandásegui, A worldwide crisis hit home in Panama last year

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SENAN trophy pic
A trophy photo by Panama’s combined air patrol and coast guard, the National Aeronaval Service (SENAN). In his recent speech to the nation about his first six months in office, President Cortizo hailed 2019’s record haul in drug seizures like this one, but lamented a spike in homicides. He did not draw the connection, but in the course of the never-ending “War on Drugs” smuggling routes shift around and when they come through Panama gang warfare also increases, particularly in the aftermath of some large shipment being waylaid.

The world’s crisis affected Panama and the region in 2019

by Marco Gandásegui, hijo

On the global level, 2019 followed a pattern set by a crisis of capitalist development. The economic growth rate continued to decline and negative social development threw ever more families into the ranks of poverty. The trade war between China and the United States expressed this crisis in geopolitical terms. In turn, Trump’s presidency is a sign of the hegemony crisis that shakes the United States. The question is whether the capitalist world-system is in a terminal crisis (as Wallerstein said) or if the crisis of hegemony is only of American capitalism, which awaits its successor (as Arrighi maintains).

In Latin Americ, in 2019, students of political processes abandoned their theses on cycles and the United States continued to intervene in the internal affairs of the region. Washington removed President Evo Morales from Bolivia through a barracks movement, increased arms sales to governments under its warmongering policies and threatened Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua with military invasions. At the same time, however, anti-neoliberal governments emerged in Mexico and Argentina. The Lima Group and the OAS continue to create anxiety under US leadership. Despite the bad omens, social movements in the region created hopes for new awakenings in the countries of the region.

In Panama, the country showed signs during 2019 of sinking more and more into a chaotic tangle of corruption, the outcome of which is unpredictable. The system feeds on corruption, which is strengthened by public policies of the last 30 years that generate growing social instability and political ungovernability. The lack of governance is coupled with a rapid decline in the rate of economic growth in recent years. While between 2008 and 2011 the annual GDP growth rates were double digits, between 2016 and 2019 they decreased to only 3.5 percent annually.

In 2019 Panama held elections for a new president and other public positions. As in the last 30 years, three political party machines maintained their control. In this case, the Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD) and its candidate Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo won by a very small margin. The new president said he will end corruption. To end this scourge, the political and economic system must be transformed. Cortizo does not intend to go so far. In the first six months of his administration corruption scandals have erupted and have not been confronted.

After leaving the presidency that he held between 2014 and 2019, Juan Carlos Varela’s compromising WhatsApp conversations with senior officials came to light. The recordings that were made public were baptized as the “Varelaleaks.” Earlier, the previous president, Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014), was acquitted for technical reasons of spying on his political adversaries. In a period of 10 years it is believed that the treasury lost billions of dollars due to mismanagement of the national treasury. In other branches government, legislators and magistrates of the Supreme Court were also accused of corruption.

In 2019, Panamanian public health services, schools and law enforcement collapsed. Environmental programs, transits through the Panama Canal and agriculture also had serious problems that resist solution. The Social Security Fund (CSS) that manages a budget of more than $3 billion annually is insolvent due to corruption. The lack of planning in the construction of health centers that remain unfinished and the payments for services that are outsourced are parts of the system’s malfunctions. Likewise, the lack of planning in the education sector generates waste and more corruption. At the end of the year the most terrible prison massacre in Panamanian history took place when 15 inmates were killed inside the La Joyita penitentiary. Those who were in charge attempt to distance themselves from the tragedy by claiming that it was just part of a war between gangs.

School dropouts increased in 2019 and makeshift “bohio schools” serve more and more children. The national budget covers fewer of the needs of the population and bad planning finds schools where there is no population and population where there are no schools. In the health sector, resources are diverted and thus not destined to the acquisition of medicines, maintenance or the training of specialized personnel. Poverty is criminalized but a blind eye is turned to white collar crimes in the financial sector.

In Brazil with an election rigged by corrupt court rulings and in Bolivia with a US-backed white supremacist military coup, far-right evangelicals have taken over governments. In Costa Rica such folks came close to winning the last presidential election and in Panama they have become a force in the National Assembly. Oscar nominee actress, journalist and activist Gaby Gnazzo was thrown out of the National Assembly’s press gallery and she and others were excluded from the public gallery, among other things on a made-up “rule” about how lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people are not allowed on the legislature’s premises. Protests against the shift to the far right in the PRD-dominated legislature brought in the riot squad to make dozens of arrests, almost all of them for nothing that could stand up in court. The argument over business groups’ proposed cosmetic changes to the constitution and demands from left and right for far more substantial changes continues.
 

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What Republicans are saying

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GOP voices

 




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Beluche, El origen del régimen panameño actual

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Clayton 1989
En Fuerte Clayton durante la invasión.

Sobre el origen antidemocrático
del régimen panameño actual

por Olmedo Beluche

La invasión en sí misma fue condenada por todos los pueblos del mundo, incluso por gobiernos y organismos sometidos al imperialismo norteamericano, como la OEA, la ONU, etc.

Pese a que el gobierno de Guillermo Endara intentó presentarse desde un principio como el gobierno “electo” por el pueblo panameño el 7 de mayo de 1989, su espúreo origen en la invasión, y su juramentación en una base militar, le restó la legitimidad que reclamaba. En el ámbito latinoamericano el cuestionamiento a la legitimidad del gobierno títere de Endara se manifestó en el mantenimiento de la exclusión de Panamá del Grupo de Río.

De todas las condenas internacionales, quizá la más significativa fue la realizada por la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de las Naciones Unidas. Abarca la opinión del organismo más representativo de todos los estados del mundo en lo que respecta estos asuntos.

La resolución fue aprobada por 14 votos a favor, 8 votos en contra (que irónicamente incluyó al gobierno de Panamá, además de otros aliados de Estados Unidos) y 17 abstenciones. En su parte resolutiva sentencia este documento:

  1. Deplora profundamente la intervención militar extranjera en Panamá, que constituye una flagrante violación del derecho internacional y de la independencia, soberanía e integridad territorial de Panamá;
  2. Exige el cese inmediato de dicha intervención;
  3. Exige el pleno respeto y la fiel observancia de la letra y el espíritu de los tratados Torrijos – Carter;
  4. Exhorta a todos los estados a que apoyen y respeten la soberanía, la independencia y la integridad territorial de Panamá y el derecho de su pueblo a decidir libre y soberanamente su futuro.

La socialdemocracia internacional jugó un papel de primer orden tratando de evitar la crisis prematura del gobierno títere. En febrero de 1990, Daniel Oduber junto con otros prominentes políticos latinoamericanos (como Raúl Alfonsín) solicitaron a los gobiernos del continente obviar el problema de la ilegitimidad del gobierno panameño producto de la invasión. Tal parece que este pedido surtió su efecto, pues desaparecieron las denuncias que inicialmente se hacían respecto a la legitimidad del gobierno panameño impuesto por la invasión.

En el plano interno, al gobierno panameño le costó superar su estigma. Las movilizaciones populares contra las consecuencias de la política económica y las movilizaciones antimperialistas contra la ocupación norteamericana, que se iniciaron tan temprano como junio de 1990, contribuyeron a cuestionar la permanencia del gobierno títere y su régimen. A tal punto que, Dan Quayle, vicepresidente de George H. Bush, a principios de 1990 llegó a sugerir la realización de elecciones.

El PRD ayudó a la estabilización del gobierno títere cuando modificó su posición inicial de exigir la renuncia de Endara y elecciones anticipadas, para pasar a reconocer a Endara como presidente legítimo.

Desde el 26 de enero de 1990, cuando se formalizó el régimen con un cuestionado reparto de las bancas de la Asamblea Legislativa (no había actas legítimas para proclamar a los legisladores), el PRD se comportó como una oposición leal que sólo intentaba capitalizar electoralmente el descontento popular, pero nunca cuestionar la legitimidad del régimen.

No se convocaron ni nuevas elecciones, ni una asamblea constituyente.

En el referéndum nacional sobre las reformas constitucionales, realizado el 15 de noviembre de 1992, que debía otorgar parte de la legitimidad requerida, la opinión popular fue abrumadora y contundente: en una relación de 2 a 1 el pueblo rechazó las reformas propuestas. En realidad, los votos favorables de los electores hacia el gobierno no fueron más del 13% de los electores. La abstención, símbolo también de la desilusión popular, alcanzó un 40%.

Pese a lo cual, el régimen de la ocupación y su gobierno siguieron como si nada, frente a un hecho que en circunstancias normales habrían producido una gran crisis política. Pero el sustento del gobierno títere estuvo, por un lado, en manos de las tropas norteamericanas (ahora constituidas, junto con la embajada yanqui, en máximos árbitros de las disputas interburguesas nacionales) y, por otro, en la leal actitud del PRD y su influencia en las organizaciones populares, que por todas partes llamaron a esperar a las elecciones.

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What Democrats are saying

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Dem voices

 

Biden

liz

pete

yang

Amy

 

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¿Wappin? Dare we look? / ¿Nos atrevemos a mirar?

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lizard action

Songs for uncertain times
Canciones para tiempos inciertos

Country Joe – Please Don’t Drop That H-Bomb On Me
https://youtu.be/IbhdBmiIe3o

Café Tacvba & Aníbal & Iván – Ojalá que llueva café
https://youtu.be/-iO5bmshzeg

Thelonious Monk – Blue Monk
https://youtu.be/_40V2lcxM7k

Randy Weston & Pharoah Sanders – Blue Moses
https://youtu.be/KeC68qpIq6s

Melissa Aldana – Visions
https://youtu.be/dDnnjBCAVMs

Patricia Zarate Pérez – Violetas
https://youtu.be/JRHVj-xPOog

Rostam – Bike Dream
https://youtu.be/mv6AT9cqscE

Kany García – Aunque Sea Un Momento
https://youtu.be/_I3Yikq997A

Playing for Change – Soul Rebel
https://youtu.be/7-dRks5QVQo

Los Tres – Dejate Caer
https://youtu.be/j25Htq9yDn0

Los Ángeles Azules & Natalia Lafourcade – Nunca Es Suficiente
https://youtu.be/k76BgIb89-s

Mon Laferte et al – El Derecho de Vivir en Paz
https://youtu.be/wlfAf2AibA8

10,000 Maniacs – These Are Days
https://youtu.be/Z-HLxpWGCzc

 

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La diversa gente de NO: el PNUD no rescatará las reformas empresariales

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bernal

¿El último enfoque de Nito Cortizo, muerto a la llegada?

Parece que las propuestas reformas constitucionales por los grupos empresariales no se salvarán al incorporar a Linda Maguire, del Programa de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo, para comenzar un nuevo “diálogo”. Con voces opuestas de izquierda y derecha, con independientes y desertores de los partidos políticos, la noción de reformar la constitución sin convocar una asamblea constituyente se dirige al rechazo.




pc


MLN


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Nito Cortizo, Informe a la nación (video) / Report to the nation (text)

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Video por la Presidencia.

President’s report to the nation

by Laurentino Cortizo, translated by Eric Jackson

Last July 1 the country we received – and I can’t find a better way to say it – was as if they gave me the keys to a house and once inside they told me: “Sir, you owe a 10-year mortgage, you owe the water and the electricity.” To top it off you realize that the roof has leaks, the refrigerator is damaged, but you also have to pay for the kids’ school, buy groceries at the supermarket, buy medicines, and still move the family forward.

Compatriots, that house, that family, that is the country we received.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to start by thanking God, because, although I haven’t seen him, I always feel him close.

This first Report to the Nation I have divided as follows:

FIRST: Where we come from, the country we receive.

SECOND: The main actions executed in these six months, in accordance with the four pillars of our Action Plan.

THIRD: The Panama of 2024.

Start with the first block – where we come from, the country we received.

In the last 10 years, the debt of Panama, that of all Panamanians, TRIPLED from $11 billion, has increased to more than $30 billion. This amounts to a debt of $22,300 per household.

In the last five years the economy of Panama reflects a clear slowdown and increased unemployment.

The current government received unregistered debts from suppliers, contractors, teachers, agricultural producers, banks, Social Security Fund for $1,738 million.

In addition, in 2018 the previous government overestimated revenues of $1,100 million — that is, they calculated quite badly.

On the other hand, 159 critical public infrastructure projects were unfinished, many for lack of payments, some with low execution, some abandoned, and others embroiled in multiple legal disputes.

I mention some: Amador Guerrero Hospital in Colon, Meteti Hospital in Darien, Bugaba Hospital in Chiriqui, Children’s Hospital and the Hospital City in Panama City, the La Chorrera market, Mariano Bula Stadium in Colon, Juan Demóstenes Arosemena Stadium, the Sports Cities in David and Colon and the Los Pozos de Herrera school.

Friends,

From the institutional point of view we find a serious deterioration, an executive who disrespected the balance of powers, a democracy distorted by anti-democratic mechanisms, corruption at levels never seen before. Disorganization, improvisation and whims were the behaviors of the previous governments.

On the issue of overall safety, overall we had nothing. We found, as in other areas of government, neither a defined strategy nor inter-institutional coordination.

Prevention, essential to anticipate crime, did not work. An example of this was the Safe Neighborhoods Program.

The security of this country, the security of its neighborhoods, is only achieved with security institutions that align intelligence, technology, organization, discipline, equipment, and a certain mystique, so that everyone knows that their criminal actions will have consequences – and that the consequences will be overwhelming!

Resocialization in prisons has failed. We find a degenerated, permissive prison system, where order and discipline do not exist. That is why we will allocate more resources for well-recruited, well-paid, well-motivated staff; for high security infrastructure, technology and good resocialization programs.

The great challenge of our government and ALL Panamanians is to recover the trust among us, to show that we can do things well.

Panamanians demand an independent justice system with prosecutors, attorneys, judges and magistrates who do their jobs well, who know that you, – like us, the elected and unelected public servants — owe ourselves, not just the country, neither more nor less.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have encountered challenges everywhere. What our government received I will summarize in one word: a disaster.

• Challenges to the domestic economy and the effects of the world economy, imaginary public finances, gray lists on which we were put, the compromised justice system, magistrate positions unfilled, corruption, insecurity for citizens, organized crime.
• Deficiencies in the health system, expensive medicines, abandoned Panamanian agriculture, excessive food imports, the lack of water for human consumption, food production and the canal.
• A poor education system, deficient immigration control, lack of maintenance of public infrastructures, solid waste problems, poverty and inequality, erratic international relations, very little progress in the organization of the 2022 Central American and Caribbean Games and a mess in the Social Security Fund.

The challenge is monumental.

All these challenges come with the presidential sash, which I did not wear today because since July 1, 2019 I have kept it in my heart.

Panamanians,

Let me tell you something. Nobody said it was going to be easy. But even with the panorama of which I just informed you, I feel optimistic. This is a great country. We are on the right path. We have a good team, we are on the same page and we know what we have to do.

We are in the process of putting the house in order, the house of all Panamanians.

To start the second block of the report:

I will mention only some of the actions that we have executed or are in execution, over these past six months.

On July 1, 2019, our government arrived with an action plan, with 125 priority actions and the mission to execute them.

I take this opportunity to thank my government team for the effort and work done.

I also thank the National Assembly for the coordination in these six months that allowed us to pass a set of important laws.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Panamanian economy in 2019, according to the latest Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean report, should end with a growth of 3.5%. ECLAC expects a growth of 3.8% in 2020 due to a rebound in the construction sector from various public works projects in progress.

in the pillar of a competitive economy that generates employment of our action plan, the first mission was to start the process of tidying up public finances and creating the conditions to facilitate the reactivation of the country’s economy and generation of employment.

To address the debts — some accumulated for a decade — and to put money in the street, our government completed in just 16 days a bond issue of $2 billion, the most successful in the history of Panama.

In the first six months of government, the following obligations due but not registered, in total $1.738 billion, have been canceled:

• Of the total of $718 million balboas owed to suppliers that provided goods and services to the state, $493 million have been paid and the remaining 225 million will be paid in the first months of this year.
• Our administration also faced debts with the Social Security Fund for $421 million, debts that were accumulated between 2011 and 2019.
• It was also possible to honor the payment of preferential interest to 20 banks for $439 million in outstanding accounts from 2010 to 2019. Interest applied as tax incentives to facilitate the acquisition of homes with a value of less than $180,000. This payment motivates banks to regain confidence, to lend again to reactivate construction and thus generate jobs.
• Additionally, the energy subsidy for $82 million was guaranteed, which guarantees that the electricity tariff does not increase, benefiting almost one million humble Panamanians.
• In addition, the debt of $83 million that the Free Zone maintained with the National Bank for the expansion of the Colon Corridor was canceled.
• We also paid salary obligations owed to more than 36,000 educators in the amount of some $30 million.
• Additionally, we paid $36 million in subsidies to 732 producers of milk, corn and rice.

In just six months have we fulfilled what was promised.

That which has been paid on the above-mentioned figures amounts to $1.584 billion.

Friends,

In the area of road infrastructure, to reactivate the economy we have 36 projects under execution from December 2019 to January 31 of this year, with orders to proceed and in bidding processes for a total of $877 million.

Of that total, the projects in execution include the nationwide Asphalting your District program for $175 million.

Of the 877 million we have delivered nine orders to proceed with $234 million for the rehabilitation of roads such as: Atalaya-Mariato for 113 kilometers, Pedasi-Cañas for 40 kilometers and La Concepcion-Volcan for 31 kilometers.

Also in just six months we have tendered or are going to tender in this month, other projects. For examples, the road to Fort San Lorenzo, the Gatun-Miguel De la Borda Road and the roads of Chiriqui Grande-Quebrada El Bajo and Chiriqui Grande -Ballena, the design and construction for the Puerto de Vacamonte Highway and the design and construction of the Chumico-Guayabito Highway in the Ngabe-Bugle Region.

Panamanians,

In housing, today the Altos de Los Lagos project, Phase Two, begins with the construction of 1,620 homes, with police station, school, green areas, sports area, commercial area, an investment of $110 million.

Also today, January 2, IDAAN delivers an order to proceed, for $60 million, 30 million for the optimization of the system and 30 million more for impact and improvement works at the Chilibre Plant.

In the first 88 days of our government, the Public-Private Partnership Law (PPP) was approved, which seeks to encourage private investment in public infrastructure to ensure a correct distribution of risk between the state and the contracting companies.

Along that line, and with the support of the World Bank, previously contemplated studies are being carried out on projects such as the Metro Cable in San Miguelito and the Corredor Norte in David.

In the first 100 days of government we presented to the National Assembly a bill to reform the Public Procurement Law, which will allow clear rules of the game for investors and will reduce the discretion of public officials.

In our first six months of government, a contribution of $20 million was delivered to the Tourism Promotion Fund for the execution of the international marketing strategy and campaign.

Law 167 was also approved that encourages the promotion of tourism activity outside of Panama City, to create the conditions that generate jobs in the Interior of the country.

Additionally, the Tourist Cabinet was created to align all government institutions that affect tourism development. In these six months we have held six tourist cabinets.

As we promised, the foreign service was redirected to attract investments, promote exports and defend the national economy. To coordinate these tasks, PROPANAMÁ was created and attached to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As part of our economic recovery plan, we modified the Law of Preferential Interest, which increases the coverage for the purchase of homes up to $180,000, a measure that will positively impact the economy and increase the generation of jobs.

In six months, the commitment to modify Law 4 of 1994 was fulfilled, which created the Special Interest Compensation Fund so that 100% of the FECI returns to our agricultural producers.

In support of the Panamanian agricultural sector and according to the Panamanian campaign with Pride, Consume Lo Tuyo, our government acquired 288,000 hams for Christmas, 100% of national production.

Today I announce the commitment for the Naviferias of 2020 and the Food Solidarity Program, to purchase of 500,000 hams and 200,000 poultry products, purchases 100% of national production.

In these first ix months 100% of the rice sold by the IMA was of national production, because in this government the IMA – YES — is an ally of the Panamanian farmers.

Friends,

The fight against poverty and inequality is the Sixth Frontier.

In this pillar, our government has undertaken an urgent decision, the fight against poverty and inequality, the Sixth Frontier, through the territorial development strategy that we define as the COLMENA Plan. [Editor’s note: it’s an acronym, but “colmena” means “hive.”]

The commitment of the Colmena Plan is with the 300 most vulnerable areas of our country, corregimientos in Panama of the urban neighborhoods, in rural Panama, and the Panama of the indigenous comarcas.

COLMENA is the alignment of the central government institutions with the Technical Boards, that is, the provincial government with local governments and with organized communities.

COLMENA is a union of forces, it is hope, it is a lever and coordinated action to open trails, solve problems, multiply solutions and move EVERYONE in the same direction.

The COLMENA Pilot Plan was launched on July 9, 2019 and began in six corregimientos of Capira District — Ciri de Los Sotos, Ciri Grande, along wih Angela Chirú, El Cacao, La Trinidad, Ollas Arriba and Santa Rosa.

That day more than a thousand community leaders participated and the result was an action plan with priorities and lessons learned to be applied to the rest of the areas.

Panamanians,

In the fight against poverty and inequality we have a working method to reach the 300 corregimientos of the COLMENA Plan, that method is Into the Countryside, and is applied through the Community Work Tours, the GTCs.

Prior to each tour, the organized districts determine their three main priorities and choose a spokesperson, who during the day of the Community Work Tour presents to the central government institutions, the provincial government and local governments their three main needs. That’s called contact with the people.

In this process there is prioritizing, listening and solving. If the priorities are viable, the government undertakes to execute them with the communities. The monitoring is done through our control tower, the Secretariat for Follow-up on Execution and Compliance.

From that experience I can share that, in Panama, today water, roads, electrification and work are still legitimate demands.

How can I share with you this working method?

Because in just six months of this administration eight tours have been made, Toabré in Coclé, Muná District in the Ngobe Region, Los Pozos District in Herrera, Chagres and Donoso District in Colón, Changuinola District in Bocas del Toro, Ciri de The Sotos in Capira, Colón District, Yaviza in Darién and all have been chaired by Nito Cortizo.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Health is a matter of state, and of human rights.

In these first six months, among other measures and initiatives, the effective and sustainable coordination process between the Ministry of Health and the Social Security Fund has been established to guarantee a better service and move from “there is no…” to “yes there is…” in medications.

In addition, by optimizing the purchasing processes through the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), just in the acquisition of anti-retrovirals, tuberculosis and chagas medicines we managed to save a total of $8 million.

Friends,

The Social Security Fund is of all the insured. I reiterate: it will not be privatized and will fulfill its mission and commitment of health protection and financial security.

Regarding the Disability, Old Age and Death Program, as soon as all the financial statements audited by the Comptroller are in hand, along with the Actuarial Technical Report, a Grand National Dialogue will be convened.

To the insured I say, do not have the slightest fear for the future of the Fund.

Panamanian people,

On July 1 of last year we said clearly that Panama requires the restoration of transparent, reliable and effective justice as the first step towards achieving the rule of law, and law and order.

The appointment of three main and six alternate magistrates was made for the country, fulfilling the commitment to take into account the State Pact for Justice, but additionally, for the first time in our history. those magistrates were evaluated and appointed through a transparent process — professional, without influences of any kind, an unprecedented process.

That decision was widely supported by the different sectors of the country. Nobody sought conditions, or friends, or protection for any magistrate. In the future we will apply the same method and selection criteria to designate the new Attorney General.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have to recognize that the issue of security requires a state policy that goes beyond one administration, because what we did not do 10 years ago is what we are living today, and what we do not do today is what we can be living in 10 years.

Unfortunately, on the issue of homicides, counting the 14 of the La Joyita incident, last year there were 39 more homicides than in the previous year.

But on the issue of the fight against drug trafficking in 2019, law enforcemet broke the historical record of drug confiscations with 80 tons, 10 tons more than in 2018.
Likewise, in our first six months from July to December 2019, drug seizures increased by 12 tons compared to the same period of 2018.

Friends,

Citizen security will be addressed through a Comprehensive Public Security Policy, which includes 3 action factors: Prevention, Repression and Resocialization.

For these purposes in the first 6 months we have started the development of, among others, the following initiatives:

• In March of this year, the first Internship Academy “Finding the Right Way”, located in Veracruz, for young people at social risk from 12 to 18 years will be starting classes. This academy will serve 300 students who will obtain a bachelor’s degree, in addition to a technical certification, it will have air-conditioned bedrooms, a clinic, classrooms, workshops and sports fields.
• The “First Employment-Learn by Making” program was created by law, a job promotion project that facilitates the first work experience for young people between 17 and 24 years old, high school graduates, university students or with technical training of INADEH through internships in companies.

For this program, the state will provide investment for training and tax incentives to participating companies.

The program also includes a component for entrepreneurship with seed capital and scholarships for outstanding young people and thus contribute to generating jobs for young people.

Panamanians,

This month, 392 new officers graduate from the Police Academy, which will serve to reinforce surveillance on our streets.

At the end of this month, 350 new motorcycles for the Linces will be available on the streets.

In addition, our government initiated the training and provision of special equipment to the elite unit called ALFA, a rapid intervention urban force group.

Along that line, and starting this month, the anti-gang operations will be increasing significantly.

By February we will be incorporating 14 drones of wide coverage into surveillance and security tasks.

Also in February, in Colon, the C2 Integral Monitoring Center will be expanded. It will have 400 high-tech cameras, which through artificial intelligence will notify the monitoring staff if any action is required for protection and defense.

To strengthen citizen security and the fight against organized crime in the second half of 2020, the C5 Center for Integral Monitoring, for the Districts of Panama and San Miguelito, will increase from 116 to 3,200 cameras.

Next week our government will present to the National Assembly the draft law that creates the Penitentiary Security Service, a new part of the Public Force, independent of the others, specialized in prison security matters.

The recruitment of all units for this service will be thoroughly evaluated.

(It should be noted that although the penitentiary security function will pass entirely to the Ministry of Security, the rehabilitation function is maintained in the Ministry of Government.)

In some of these cases, due to their sensitive nature, I cannot give more details of the measures and actions that we are and will be taking.

I assure you that I will not postpone the decisions and actions that we must take as a country.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For more than 10 years the need for constitutional reforms has been raised, especially for the three branches of government.

I committed myself and complied in presenting to the National Assembly a basic document of constitutional reforms. However, concerns from various sectors of society emerged and were heard.

That is why I requested the Assembly to withdraw the reforms and proposed the United Nations Development Program as a FACILITATOR, for a broad national, inclusive and orderly dialogue, and as Panamanians to strengthen the three branches of government through constitutional reforms – the executive, legislative and judicial.

Notice that in my case I did not need constitutional reforms to do the right thing to appoint nine magistrates and three prosecutors. However, if God gives me life and health, I will only be in this position for 54 more months, so I hope that through dialogue there will be a national decision about what institutions we want, not only for this administration but for the next ones.

Friends,

I emphasize, “Unite Forces” makes possible the commitment to education. It was, is and will be in the coming years our greatest challenge as a government and as a society.

Changes in education take a minimum of one generation, we have to start them now, otherwise we will continue to deepen the inequality gap in Panama over the next five years.

Look, what we didn’t do in 2009 is reflected in the results of the 2018 PISA test. That test places Panama in position 71 of 79 participating countries. That is, two out of three of our students do not understand what they read and four of every five can not perform basic mathematical operations.

Regardless of ideological slogans or if we are from right or left, we are all Panamanians, but the truth is that the poor quality of education in Panama condemns the humble folks even more.

Our education system is disconnected from the demands and necessities of the working world.

It is time to dignify the profession of the teacher, to train better teachers, it is time for a better teacher improvement system. It is time to teach our students to think, to equip them to solve problems.

One of the most important achievements of these six months of government was the approval by the National Assembly of the Study Without Hunger presidential program. This consists of the purchase of quality national products, to give hot food and proper nutrition to our public school students in vulnerable areas.

For this program, the goal of 500 schools has been established in 2020 to subsequently advance to more than 1,800 schools in the poorest 300 districts in the country, those included in the COLMENA Plan.

• The pilot plan that has the support of FAO benefits more than 1,200 students in Llano Tugri in the Ngabe Bugle Comarca, Rosario Creek in the province of Herrera and the Amelia Denis de Icaza corregimiento in San Miguelito.
• To contribute to the improvement of the teachers, we grant scholarships abroad for professors from UDELAS, the University of Panama, the Autonomous University of Chiriquí and the Superior Normal Institute Juan Demóstenes Arosemena, which are public centers for educator training.
• In this month more than 400 students of the Ngabe Bugle Comarca will receive preparatory courses at UNACHI, so they can opt for careers in medicine, nursing, pharmacy, nutrition and medical technology.
• The Ministry of Education also signed the National Reading and Writing Plan, for book delivery and the building of libraries to encourage the habit of reading.
• This year we will begin the “Panama Academy for the Future” in the City of Knowledge, an educational center of excellence, with a boarding school that will initially admit 100 outstanding 10th to 12th grade students from public schools, providing quality education mainly in English in order to prepare them for admission to the best universities in Panama and the world.
• In terms of educational infrastructure in these six months, 1,244 educational centers were attended.
• Also, in six months of government we have managed to deliver 1,725 scholarships across the country for outstanding students at all educational levels.
• And to give peace and security to Panamanian families, we have delivered 3,279 property titles nationwide, most of them to poor people.

I finish with the third block, The Panama of 2024.

Panamanian people,

I visualize a more prosperous country, of law and order, but, above all, fair.

With good investments that generate jobs, a reliable justice system, a country with better public safety.

Laying down the foundations of a quality education, for life and work.

I visualize a Panama where there are no untouchables, no privileged, no impunity.

Where government resources are sacred and the administration of justice that acts correctly and does not cover things up.

Compatriots,

Governing is a serious matter.

We are going to leave a method of governing, which involves the work of the central government as a team, aligned with the provincial governments, local governments, with organized communities, workers, private sector, professionals, teachers, farmers, producers, a method who looks straight ahead and listens to people, a method of solidarity, participatory work that unites us.

That Panamanians feel that good government can be had.

That Panamanians can recover trust.

That is our vision, that is our purpose.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In 2024 we will have fulfilled the 125 priority actions of our Action Plan, making significant progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.

On that road, no battle, no fight, no adversity, however hard it may seem, will intimidate or defeat us.

I didn’t get here easily, you know, I’m used to the hard fight.

I do not give up, we will not allow the country to lose and we cannot continue to postpone the solutions.

Let’s keep moving forward, working hard, with humility, as a team, with discipline, faith and decision.

I am optimistic, we have achieved a lot in a short time and in difficult conditions.

I have to thank our people for their support and trust.

Friends and friends,

Those who know me know that I am not looking for easy applause.

What moves me is the satisfaction of serving my country, especially the most needy.

For them it is our commitment.

For them we have the historical responsibility of heading towards the conquest of the Sixth Frontier, THE FIGHT AGAINST POVERTY AND INEQUALITY.

 

Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 
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Sanders, They have their donor bases — and then there are US

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bern cash
The corporate mainstream media are splitting — some still studiously ignore Bernie Sanders, while some now acknowledge the strength of his campaign and are starting “throw the kitchen sink” attacks on him. And then there are the grassroots trends.

Extraordinary news

by Bernie Sanders

Today, I am very proud to share with you some extraordinary news: our campaign has received more than 5 million individual contributions — that is more contributions than any campaign has received at this point in a presidential election in the history of our country.

Now I want to say a few words about why this accomplishment is so extraordinary.

For far too long, the economic and political systems have been stacked against ordinary Americans. The rich get richer because they use their wealth to buy our candidates and our elections. Meanwhile, more and more working people become demoralized and choose not to participate in the political process.

What we are proving on this campaign is that one does not need to beg the wealthy and the powerful for campaign contributions in order to win elections.

We are proving that when you run a campaign that speaks directly to the needs of working people and young people, they are ready to fight with you.

We are proving that we — US — are far more powerful than the 1 percent have ever imagined.

And that is important.

Because change never happens from the top down. It always happens from the bottom up. And now is the time, more than ever before, for millions of working families — black and white, Latino, Asian and Native American, gay and straight — to come together to end the collapse of the American middle class and to make certain that our children and grandchildren are able to enjoy a quality of life and a habitable planet that brings them health, prosperity, security and joy.

That kind of campaign is also the only kind of campaign that will win in November.

Now I am proud to say that ours is the only campaign in this Democratic primary with more donations than Donald Trump.

And that is important for two reasons:

First, practically, our campaign has raised more money than any other campaign in this race and will raise more money than any campaign would against Donald Trump.

We have 5 million individual donations in a Democratic primary that hasn’t even cast its first vote yet.

Against Trump, I believe we will have 50 million individual contributions, at least. And at $27 a piece, that would be more than $1 billion. It’s absolutely obscene and outrageous that an election would cost that much money, but our campaign has proven we will be able to raise more than enough money to win.

And our donation number is important for another reason: because in order to beat Trump, we’re going to need the largest voter turnout in the history of America.

And you don’t have the largest voter turnout unless you create energy and excitement.

And you don’t create energy and excitement unless you are prepared to take on the people who own America — not just beg them for money.

We need a progressive agenda that mobilizes millions and millions of Americans behind ideas like Medicare for all, raising the minimum wage, leading the world in combating climate change and more.

Now, you know that poll after poll shows we beat Trump by wide margins.

And when you combine that with the kind of grassroots enthusiasm our campaign has demonstrated the ability to generate, we will not only win this election, but we will have the organization ready to fight to transform this country.

You may remember that when I said I was going to run for president, I said that it would take a political revolution to win.

A lot of people thought that was an acknowledgment of impossibility. It wasn’t.

It was a statement of what would be necessary to undo the damage that has been done to our country and reclaim our country from the oligarchs.

Now, speaking this way about the need to take on the insurance companies, the drug companies, the fossil fuel companies, the military industrial complex, the prison industrial complex and virtually the entire damn one percent tends to make wealthy folks nervous.

That is fine.

They will see our numbers and will no doubt ratchet up their attacks.

But I have no doubt we will be ready.

And that we will win.

 

Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

 

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