Editorials: Alleyne’s baggage; and A changing world order

A protest in Los Santos of those denied compensation for DEG injuries or deaths in their families. Uncredited photo from Twitter.

Triple whammy – or worse – for the PRD

You have to consider what the real objectives of all the players really are to fully evaluate the PRD’s blunder over the weekend. If it’s the acceptance of a forgettable and losing slate at the top of the ticket but retention of as many down-ballot elected offices as possible there might be a certain sense to it. If it’s a party purge with an eye toward the future, an exchange of catastrophic defeat in the next elections for a party without its current dissidents for how many years it may have to wander in the political wilderness, that also might make a certain perverse sense

Gaby Carrizo is a cartoon character candidate running at the head of Omar Torrijos’s party on a platform of establishing a vast foreign-owned mining colony across much of Panama. That’s bad enough for them, and bad enough for Panama. Now he has chosen Dr. Camilo Alleyne as his running mate in the vice presidential slot.

As in Dr. Alleyne, Martín Torrijos’s health minister during the 2006 mass poisoning by the government scandal. As in delaying prompt public notice that there was a problem, ostensibly to prevent panic, but really to avoid political embarrassment until after a referendum. People eventually did panic, but the most important thing to remember is that people died of taking government-issue cough syrup made with deadly poisonous diethylene glycol – DEG – because that danger was kept secret from them.

Then, as people were dying and becoming so sick as to become disabled, the Torrijos administration with Alleyne as its health minister cut corners on assistance to the victims. Knowing full well that DEG quickly decomposes so as to be undetectable in the human body, whether living or dead, the government took the position that if no DEG was found in the body or corpse the poisoning didn’t happen and so no assistance was owed to the victims.

Now that Martín Torrijos has strayed from the fold, most probably the Alleyne nomination will bring this sordid history front and center and doom both the PRD and the Torrijos campaigns.

Meanwhile, PRD legislator turned independent fascist presidential candidate Zulay Rodríguez – who got slaughted by Nito Cortizo in the 2018 PRD presidential primary but not so badly as Camilo Alleyne did – suddenly has her political troubles enhanced. The Electoral Tribunal is considering a motion to lift her candidate’s immunity, which might require her to spend much of the campaign season defending herself before the Supreme Court against allegations that as a lawyer she stole from one of her clients.

Will other unfavorable things come up to make it a quadruple or quintuple whammy for the ruling Democratic Revolutionary Party? Perhaps.

Will the Ricky Martinelli be in prison before Election Day, perhaps having been thrown off of the ballot? That’s a likely scenario. He has already been convicted and faces new trials shortly. Will Roux and Blandón come off as a ridiculous ticket, new faces on an old alliance between two parties that failed when it was tried before? Could be.

With no absolute majority need to win nor likely to happen, might a PRD “We may stink but the other guys are worse” pitch work? Perhaps, but then there may come a question of whether a presidency arising from that would be able to effectively govern. The PRD move to revise the rules for electing legislators at this late date, it it succeeds, would mainly aggravate stability and governability questions for Panama.

Bad move, you guys. But could we have expected anything better?


Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney explains this country’s diplomacy to some of Panama’s brighter high school kids. The world is changing and people of all ages will need to know how to adapt. Ministry of Foreign Relations photo.

Rearranging Panama’s foreign relations

The best defense for this country and its canal is neutrality, so as not to give anybody and special geopolitical reason to attack us. This past Thursday, Friday and Saturday Panamanian Foreign Minister Janaina Tewaney was in Cuba for the Group of 77+China summit, essentially the successor to the old league on non-aligned countries that had back in the 70s so solidly supported Panama’s drive to end the Canal Zone and gain control of this nation’s principal industrial asset, the canal. Earlier, Panama requested observer status in the BRICS groiup, so named after it founders Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa but in the process of expanding.

In Havana the subject of migrant invasions across our border with Colombia was one of the topics broached. Venezuela, Cuba and China are all sources of some of that migration and they were all at the conference. There was a consensus there that US economic strangulation moves against Venezuela and Cuba, and botched US efforts to determine how Haiti is governed, are major instigators of the migration crisis.

Panama looks for a savior in those groups only in vain. The countries have their problems with one another, and several of them have their histories of problems with Panama. A state-backed Brazilian company bribed successive Panamanian governments. Some of the countries involved make maritime territorial claims that Panama has historically rejected and should reject. Getting out of a straitjacket imposed by the USA or some consensus of Western powers is a generally worthy aim, but not at the price of Panama becoming a vassal to anyone else.

It’s a necessary, but not an easy, balance for a small country like this one.


Margaret Atwood in Toronto in 2022. Wikimedia photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach.

Nothing makes me more nervous than people who say, ‘It can’t happen here.’ Anything can happen anywhere, given the right circumstances.

Margaret Atwood
speaking to West Point cadets

Bear in mind…

You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm.


Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties.

Doug Larson   

The quickest way of ending a war is to lose it.

George Orwell


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







Contact us by email at / Contáctanos por correo electrónico a 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.

Para defendernos de los piratas informáticos, los trolls organizados y otros actos de vandalismo en línea, la función de comentarios de nuestro sitio web está desactivada. En cambio, ven a nuestra página de Facebook para unirte a la discusión.

~ ~ ~
These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.
Estos anuncios son interactivos. Toque en ellos para seguir a las páginas de web.


la historia









Vote en español