Bernal, Lest Panama’s history be erased…


The Democratic Summer

by Miguel Antonio Bernal V.

Under the title “El Veranillo Democrático” de Omar Torrijos y Nosotros (45 años después),” our fellow Panamanian Olimpo Saez Marcuci offers us an interesting testimony, duly documented, of the struggles waged against the military dictatorship that prevailed in our country from 1968 to 1989.

Through its 267 pages, Olimpo goes through, in its ten chapters in which his book is divided, without neglecting the fiery enthusiasm that always accompanied him as a student leader in the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Panama, the itinerary of riding, like Quijote, in defense of democracy and for the values of our country and its history, almost all of them suffocated by the military regime and its minions.

Likewise, hand in hand with the pen and the documents compiled by Olimpo, we revive the beginnings of the Camilo Torres Club, an active and determined organization created by Olimpo and that marked its generation of students and that, from the Law Student Center ( CED), impregnated with patriotism the fight against the Canal treaties imposed by the dictatorship.

The days of the patriotic NO are revived so that those who did not live through those years, recognize them and know the determined contribution that Olimpo and another group of young people from those years of anxiety — those of the dictatorship — take the stage so that we’ll never return to them.

As the author tells us: “So that it is not lost in the national forgetfulness, we publish in this book, some documents of our journey through Panamanian politics, with no other pretension than to leave it captured for future curious people who want to know a little about the university struggle, which grouped in the Camilo Torres Club and then in the Nationalist Action Club, born in the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences of the University of Panama, and stood up against “the hard dictatorship and the soft dictatorship” for public freedoms, political debate, electoral participation, national understanding, the constitutional reforms of 1983 and the elections of 1984.”

I thank Olimpo Saez for his valuable testimony, whose reading allows our historical memory to avoid erasure from the minds and consciences of Panamanians.




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