Bernal, Even before all this hit us…

Hungry people block the road in Chorrera, demanding food assistance from which they were excluded. Photo from Twitter, by somebody stuck in the traffic jam.

Previous balance

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

Remaining indifferent to what is happening, rather than difficult, is impossible. However, the Panamanian people address our misfortune with a sick complicity. This is the result of decades of inequalities that have been increasing, qualitatively and quantitatively, over the years.

Today, as the first COVID-19 wave intensifies in our midst, we cannot afford to continue with the dehumanized logic of individual benefit. Those who govern today, their followers and above all, the most troglodyte group in the business sector, persist in that sort of thinking with zero social awareness.

We must recover the courage to feel and be part of a community that cannot accept borders or flags. But the Cortizo-Carrizo administration, in each and every one of its decrees and resolutions over the last six months (without forgetting the first six), seeks to atomize society and promoted labor insecurity, along with isolation, indifference and confrontations.

They have loved us, they want us to believe. Also, that the social, economic, health, and education problems (etc.) first came to us with the pandemic. Worst of all, they’d have us believe that these problems can be solved by individual choices.

They cackle “wash your hands” while IDAAN cuts the water. They say “stay at home,” with 80 bucks and a food package that doesn’t reach everyone who should get them. It all confirms the how little respect those in power have for human dignity.

Today, when the dead number over a thousand and the infected in the tens of thousands, when the hospitals have collapsed, the morgues are overflowing, the cemeteries have no space and unemployment and hunger are the lot of so many Panamanians, the previous balance leads us to react, to arm ourselves with civic courage, to shed these faint-hearted leeches from the national treasury, to demand a change,

But not the Gatopardo change, so that nothing changes. No! A 180º turn is required. Only a truly participatory constituent process can do that. There is nothing more worthy than fighting for what is just. To do that we must remove the unjust who misgovern us.


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