Bernal, Panama’s first World Cup


Roman Torres

First World Cup

by Miguel Antonio Bernal


Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree.
Martin Luther King Jr.


For those of us who love our country, for those of us who act like citizens who are concerned and moved by daily events, so that thing really go better, our joy and rejoicing at the Panamanian soccer team making the World Cup is no less than that of the other followers and fans of that sport.

For those in charge of taking our yesterday, they do not want us to have a tomorrow and they do not let us have today, and we know that their expressions and motivations about this achievement are otherwise.

For those of us who have principles and know that Panama is a country where there are people who do not love the country but also know those us who love it, those of us who rejoice in their happiness — we share in their sadness and their defeats, but also in their triumphs.

Today, as before, other compatriots in the fields of the arts, the science, letters or sports give our country moral encouragement and hope. The first World Cup appearance gives us the opportunity to leave behind the prevailing mediocrity among those who govern us and to commit ourselves to recover our dignity.

Let the world know that Panama isn’t just a canal or a money laundering center, that we are not the Panama Papers, nor are we Odebrecht, that above all, we are Panamanians, who want to take back our country, today hijacked by those who grow moldy to the core.

Let this first World Cup serve to open the necessary avenues for us to live to learn, to leave behind ignorance and mediocrity, to effectively link up with the rest of humanity. Let us learn the teaching of Octavio Mendez Pereira:

In weak and small nations such as ours, over which the clouds of imperialism hover, general culture, science and research mean, more than anything else, autonomy, identity and effective freedom.


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