Editorials: An independent existence; and A bankrupt OAS

To the extent that Panama enjoys any measure of dignified independence, we owe a great deal to this 1964 generation of student protesters and to an earlier one who marched against a demeaning proposed treaty in 1947.

After the parades

The Panama News recently heard a rumor, via a reader who said that she heard it from an employee of a subcontractor. A major part of of Panama’s vital electrical grid would soon be sold to “The Chinese.” If there’s any truth to that, it couldn’t be confirmed by The Panama News.

Well, WHAT IF some great power acquired the ability to switch off our lights in the instant of a political decision? Don’t at least eight countries in this world have the power to fry out not only our electrical grid but most of the things that run on it, by setting off an electro-nuclear pulse bomb in space above our atmosphere? And as a nation don’t we have a legal system and a political caste who are still trying to slip away from coming to grips with the wholesale bribery of our political system – ALL major parties and players — by a state-sponsored Brazilian corporation? Don’t we still allow great powers to give us orders about which small nations can or can’t be our friends?

After parades without proper health measures in epidemic times, after the unveiling of many a sculpture (some of them truly ugly), after all the oddly evasive speeches about our history, isn’t there something else for Panama should  do to celebrate its independence?

How about EXERCISING it? How about becoming a proud and free nation of people who don’t sell one another to operatives giving out bags of groceries at election time or to corporations passing money under the table and promising jobs for some of those who don’t get any of that money?

We should not take pride in anything that an opaque administration has slapped the word “bicentennial” upon. Least of all the wretched “dialogues” aimed at lowering the standards of living of everybody but the very rich.

Let’s celebrate Panamanian independence by living that way, as a country and as individuals.


Yet another OAS libel against an election result that some in
Washington didn’t want to see. From the OAS Twitter feed.

The OAS needs to transform or die

Yeah, yeah – ‘In The Big Picture you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet’ and all that. So the dozens of journalists, the dozens of environmentalists, the dozens of indigenous land and water rights defenders who were slain by the death squads of the US-backed Honduran regime were expendable. And if the whole in-crowd was coked out – more on the money from the trade than necessarily on the drug itself – Uncle Sam will consider his annoyance well enough demonstrated by US justice grabbing the president-by-fraud’s brother and getting him sentenced to life in prison.

US policy in Honduras may go without notice by the great number of Americans who couldn’t find the place on a map, but educated people throughout the Americas know rather exactly what has been going on.

Now the folks who were thrown out of power and made criminals by the 2009 coup have resoundingly won the Honduran elections, and here we have the Organization of American States – which is supposed to be the voice of the Americas – putting out scurrilous denials on its Twitter feed, in essence demanding yet another election fraud in Honduras.

Panama shouldn’t follow the OAS lead, it should say goodbye to the OAS.

After its performances in Bolivia and Honduras, responsible media should not play “he said, she said” with the OAS and somebody disputing its assertions, they should just ignore the OAS as an unreliable source.

It doesn’t mean that every country and every politician who does not get along with the OAS is all sweetness and light, but to promote peace, justice and democracy, and to represent the consensus of the hemisphere, that organization is not just deficient, it’s counter-productive.

How to move forward in an imperfect region of an imperfect world? A challenging set of questions. But now we know another of whom isn’t fit to answer them.



                 Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.

Elvis Presley                 


Bear in mind…


The history of men’s opposition to women’s emancipation is more interesting perhaps than the story of emancipation itself.

Virginia Woolf


We get a lot of strength from many principles including reciprocity (you are me and I am you) and that gives us strength as women and this connection with life and the web we have among each other.

Aura Lolita Chávez


We come nearest to the great when we are great in humility.

Rabindranath Tagore



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night oil