OP ED: by James “JB” Bryson
As I bring 2018 to a close on the first year of being online with PANAMA NOW, I reflected on how much time and effort I placed into examining and let’s face it “criticizing” a Varela Administration that I honestly feel is flawed to the core. Many people have labeled me a shill, or someone with some personal axe to grind against the serving President. This being thrown my way even though I STILL have never endorsed ANYONE.
What I found oddly significant is the article that was put out by “La Estrella”, that essentially ended the year with a synopsis that I feel is 100% dead on accurate. You read and decide for yourself.
“He deceived us”, so cruel and hard, on the eve of the day of the past Innocents, he distanced himself from the Panamanian president, Juan Carlos Varela, the Independent Movement (Movin), one of the pillars of his triumph in 2014, which reflects for some hypocrisy and for others the wear and tear of a minority government.
“# VarelaNosEngañó by saying that his party did NOT receive donations from Odebrecht and then admit that YES, donations or bribes?” Says Varela’s allied group forcefully in his official Twitter account, which sparked a shower of comments in favor and against, although that topic has been talked about for years.
The ruler has kept silent about this latest attack, perhaps unexpected by the person who launched it and when, since he has been receiving stoically fights for almost five years since the opposition led by his predecessor Ricardo Martinelli (2009-2014) in pre-trial detention for a case of illegal wiretapping during his term.
And is that the ruler, who polls in 2014 did not give him choice, won a surprise triumph, but with a minority bancada (16) in the parliament, 71 seats, which led him to maintain an alliance with the deputies (26) of the opposition Democratic Revolutionary Party (PRD), who already denied it.
That rupture has meant for Varela since last July losing control of the National Assembly and that the PRD approaches the Democratic Change Party (CD) of Martinelli, with 25 seats, and block the appointment of new judges for the Supreme Court of Justice, or not approve the law that creates tax evasion as a criminal offense and even at the last minute approve the budget for 2019.
The controversy unleashed by Movin led users to remind them that they are part of the problem by backing Varela, and listing the list of their members who are appointed as officials.
One of them is Augusto Arosemena, who unexpectedly resigned last week as Minister of Commerce and Industry, amid the negotiations of the free trade agreement with China, the flaming ally that has made the United States frown and warn Panama about the conditions of Chinese investments.
The movement also demanded that the Electoral Tribunal publish the list of private donors that Varela and his party had in 2014, in which several of them also appear.
But Movin also recalled that since 2014 he was already direct questioning, criticizing nepotism in the new minority government of the Panameñista Party (PPa).