The readers' usual free-wheeling, wide-ranging discussion

Supports canal expansion plan

The Canal needs to be expanded and the people of Panama will vote for this. If the Canal is not expanded it will be obsolete and no use for the world. As technology is changing every day so is the merchant business for larger ships. Panama needs to have a stronger security for the Canal with today's world changing it would not be a bad idea to have some US military troops protecting the Canal due to the Al-Qaeda in today's world.


Mike Hanson

Highlands Ranch, Colorado



Raúl Leis

We have had many "honorable" men who have been lost in the jungle of politics. Pray tell me, how a man of such an "outstanding" accomplishments is part of a group backing "YES" in spite of what he obviously knows i.e. corruption, lack of transparency, drug trafficking etc.

Panamanians have become skeptics when dealing with the so-called "intellectuals" (of every color).


Azucena Fillo Haro


Editor’s note: The rumor that Raúl Leis supports the “yes” campaign originates in an email circulated in the name of a Panama Canal Authority employee on behalf of one of the “yes” campaign committees, the "Asíi Sí" committee led by businessman Enrique de Obarrio. Leis has not endorsed the “yes” campaign, nor have several of the other alleged backers listed on that email done so. A knee-jerk reaction would be to denounce the email as another ACP deception in a "yes" campaign that has been particularly scurrilous up to this point, but as its contents are bogus it would be reckless to presume that its provenance is as  represented on its face. I would be inclined treat it as just another anonymous Internet hoax of the sort that have become a part of the US political scene in recent years.


Kaiser Bazán, from a West Point classmate

As Battalion Commander of CHS, Kaiser competed with me for the slot of Regimental Commander; I was chosen over him, but immediately discovered my immense admiration and respect for him. We entered West Point through different roads and graduated in '61. Our friendship grew steadily stronger as we both overcame "distance" (he was in the 1st Regiment, I was in the 2nd --- spooky, like BHS vs CHS. We both became four-year lettermen in the soccer team and I can assure you that Ed Scott is right on with his description of Kaiser's competitiveness (I call it GUTS).

West Point was not easy; our class had a high dropout rate the first year. At a very down moment during Plebe (Freshman) year, I had decided to quit, but Kaiser talked me out of it. Every 11th of December he would come over first thing in the morning to wish me a happy birthday; two days later, I would repay the birthday wishes. He was two days younger than I.

After graduation, Kaiser went on to Stanford for his masters, then returned to Panama. When I returned to Panama after resigning my commission in the Army, our wives became very close through the love that Kaiser and I shared. I never met another person as passionately devoted to Panama; it was always his first priority. The last time he and Maribel came thru Madrid, the resolve to continue working for Panama's progress became very, very clear.

"Cuando un amigo se vá, algo se muere en el alma." I beg all of you to grip hands with me and pray that he finds his peace with the loved ones that have gone before him.

Dicky Angstadt

BHS ‘56


Too bad Kaiser Bazán didn’t become president

I don't know why I feel compelled to say something about Kaiser and his untimely death, but I do.

I never saw Kaiser again after we left high school, and, as we all know, that was a very long time ago.

My experience with Kaiser mostly was competing against him in football, baseball and track, and as a friend from a distance. Never, have I encountered a sportsman with more heart, more drive and more dignity than Kaiser Bazan.

He truly was a unique individual, and I regret that I will never have the opportunity to tell him that personally.

What a shame that he was never President of Panama. He was a very good person. I only hope that I will be remembered by my peers with a small measure of the fondness and affection that we all felt for Kaiser.

Ed Scott


Panama Marathon woes

I was a competitor in the Panama Marathon. The event did start on time and there was, as always, very good camaraderie amongst the runners of all nations. The organizers do the best job they can on the limited funds they possess.

Unfortunately, I witnessed an attack on a runner from one of the many drunken bystanders who had recently left the all nightclubs near the Rommel Fernandez Stadium. Luckily three fellow runners came to the person’s assistance and drove the two youths away. This, coupled with the runners’ constant battles with buses and taxis along the route and the absence of bathrooms, left a bad taste in my mouth.


Keith Richardson


Altos de Golf home invasion robbery

I have followed with interest this most recent issue of the Panama News. I also read about the family who was "invaded" by maleantes. I am so, so sorry that this had to happen. Greed is rampant in the world and I am not surprised it happened, just saddened. I suppose I would have a knee-jerk reaction as that poor woman did and lash out with threats to let everyone know just how dangerous life is in Panama. We know but I can't help feel that those with money should take precautions, even if it means living with glass on the walls, as was mentioned.

I have to think that those vicious people were the exception rather than the rule. As much as I love Panama and her people, I wouldn't go walking through central Colon without the safety of numbers and wouldn't go where I knew trouble was historically. These people who were brutalized will eventually recover but I think they have seen the last of Panama.




Thinks we disrespected Shoshana Johnson --- or something?

My surame Is Johnson. I have never in my life read a news piece such as the uncompassionate accounts of one Shoshana Johnson. I have always had respect for unbiased news agencies in the 30 years. Veterans such as myself, get sick to their stomachs when their own government, doesn't support them with the proper medical or psychological care upon return to their home country. Now someone writes a story on whether Panama should embrace and celebrate the safe return of one of their native daughters. Sir with all due respect to your news agency, I now know why no one in the United States celebrated Shoshana's safe return from the Iraqi War.

It is due to her native country, PANAMA !!!!!!!! If you and the rest of PANAMA can't, won't, or don't want to celebrate her safe return from a war, some day she may succeed in your own politics, unlike a famous PANAMANIAN ACTOR who was not able to get elected as the Panamanian president. I am shamed by your omissions, but you should be ashamed. This email is only my statement that I feel that I'm proud and happy to be an American. Please put your politics aside and do the right, for one of our own.


The Yank!

Editor’s note: It you do an advanced Google Internet search limited to the http://www.thepanamanews.com website with the key phrase “Shoshana Johnson,” you will see all mention of the woman that has been made in this publication. So what’s the writer’s point?

Shoshana Johnson, by all appearances, is a decent, honorable human being. She was a good soldier who was wounded, captured and illegally put on display by her captors. Since her release her public statements have shown her to be a woman of wisdom and integrity. I would expect that the majority of Panamanians who have heard of her, despite the fact that they tend to oppose the Iraq War, think of her in the most positive terms.


Fan mail

Great Job! I am impressed with your coverage, especially of the political news. I am trying to sort all of this out as I prepare to move to Panama in late 2007.

Thank you. I check your website about once a week.

Louise Orr

Charleston, South Carolina


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