Editorials: Ricky & Yanibel? and GOP meltdown

Ricardo Martinelli and Yanibel Ábrego on the campaign trail. He’s on track — sort of — to be the nominee of his new political party, complete with his initials. She, and he, are campaigning to take his old political party, Cambio Democratico, from its leader from the time of Martinelli’s last disqualification, corporate lawyer Rómulo Roux. Martinelli has two or three criminal trials later this year, conviction at which could leave him disqualified again. Yanibel apparently has the support of the Electoral Tribunal. Will there be an RM / CD alliance with her standing in for him in May of next year? Photo from Ábrego’s Twitter feed.

Martinelli’s game is falling apart but he’s leading and who’s to stop him?

If you want Martinelista slanted news with some fake stuff in the mix, read the newspapers or listen to the broadcasts from his media empire. Quickly now, before the wheels of justice turn to take away the EPASA newspaper chain in the New Business case, which is about how he allegedly used public funds to buy those media properties.

OR, you might want to check out the Twitter feeds of the Martinelista camp, especially now that of his designated spokesman Mr. Camacho. Denials that don’t match the allegation and all that. He has a lot of hard-wired acolytes now, and some of the rest of the electorate not fallen into that sort of fanaticism is ready to buy the “He stole but he got things done” pitch.

No proof, they say. As if his two sons’ sworn confessions in open court before a US federal judge in Brooklyn aren’t evidence. As if seizures of bank accounts by authorities in third countries which have not been overturned don’t create any sort of legal inference.

Let’s see Uncle Sam put some more cards on the table, even if THAT would verify what Edward Snowden alleges about the US National Security Agency and what many reports over many years from several countries suggest. The US government has the ability to intercept almost all electronic communications — bank transfers, credit card purchases, emails, telephone or video conversations, the traces of who is hacking whom. The problem with storage and retrieval prevents a universal Big Brother operations but the NSA does particularly spy on foreign heads of state and governments. ‘Oh, we can’t do that because it might reveal intelligence sources and methods,’ Washington spymasters might plead? The problem with that, a lesson unlearned after so many debacles, is that the US government’s credibility is also a major component of national security. Intelligence agencies that conduct Murder Incorporated operations that must be carefully denied are far less protective than intelligence agencies that collect the information, properly analyze it and know the score. Lay it on the table for Panamanians and the world to see.

That still doesn’t excuse Panamanians from solving this problem. One facet of which would be to refrain from electing predators to public office.

Another aspect would be to refuse to play transactional politics. Not with the Martinelistas, not with the likely Martinelli surrogates if he can’t run next year, not with the sticky fingers from other political parties. It would mean that capable people whose egos are not big enough to make them want to go into politics, ordinary people with solid morals yet with embarrassing personal flaws like we all have, would have to find the courage to run and a lot of people who aren’t so brave but just as upright in their thinking would have to rally behind them.

There are leaders like that in the political game right now. There are citizens of all walks of life in positions who ought to step forward. Whatever the United States says, it’s up to Panamanians to definitively slap down “He stole, but…” and “We’ll give you ____ for your vote” pitches.


Melting right down

About 200 supporters showed up. The Republican governor panned his candidacy.


Riding high, with a new Republican US House of Representatives majority — an edge of just five votes — and Americans laughing at them, not with them. Shutterstock photo by Shawn Thew.



Desiderius Erasmus, Wikimedia of a Han Holbein the Younger portrait.

    Prevention is better than cure.


Bear in mind…

Everyone has talent. What is rare is the courage to follow talent to the dark place where it leads.

Erica Jong

Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.

Albert Einstein

The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.

Chinese Proverb


Contact us by email at fund4thepanamanews@gmail.com

To fend off hackers, organized trolls and other online vandalism, our website comments feature is switched off. Instead, come to our Facebook page to join in the discussion.

These links are interactive — click on the boxes