OP ED: James “JB” Bryson– In taking this time to truly be thankful, I really have to scrub my brain to find some things that made sense for me. I say that because overall, this year has been a bit of a “pain in the ass“!! My simple past time endeavor and labor of love, morphed into a bit more than I wanted to deal with. If I had to list things I am “NOT” thankful for, I could rattle off – 1) Keyboard tough guys and “catfishing” 2) Opportunists 3) Pissed off people asking for help 4) The General Assembly 5) ODEBRECHT, ODEBRECHT, and oh yeah, ODEBRECHT. 6) Illegal Logging ,,,,,,,,,you get the picture. But as I close off year number 8 living here full time, I still find my time in Panama to be enjoyable. I generally make an honest effort to help my fellow Ex-Pats and exchange information that I feel is balanced, researched, and opinionated. I use that word last, because PNO is essentially “MY OPINION“. All can feel free to agree or not. But I do research before I open my mouth or type my laptop.
I am also thankful for the people that have used our link to become monthly members of the WOUNDED WARRIOR PROJECT or the AFRICAN WILDLIFE FOUNDATION. True thank yous to all.
So quickly let me add a few comments today as I will be watching football, smoking cigars, and drinking Bourbon tomorrow.
A) VARELALEAKS- I have a love hate relationship with politics. This is not connected to merely Panama. Please note the circus going on in the US. It is my jaded view of politics in that I took such exception with Varela. A man that went out of his way to “act” like someone he truly wasn’t. To me he wanted to be the Panamanian version of JFK, in a time where the trail of information simply won’t allow it. He was handsome, he was stately, he looked the part. BUT………he simply was the next in line of a series of people that since the Torrijos-Carter Treaties were finally enacted on Jan 1, 2000. After that day, Panama was given the world’s largest ATM machine, and in doing so created a power vacuum of a small group of wealthy Panamanians that have abused this power in many ways. The saying “absolute power corrupts absolutely”, applies here. Not in the form of dictatorial type rule, but abuses of power as it relates to GREED, CRIMES, FAVORS, ABUSES, and backdoor dealings have been rampant. My issue with Varela is that he always “acted” like he was above such things, when he was literally neck deep in all of it. He benefited greatly from the status quo that he ripped Martinelli for, and VARELALEAKS exposes it. I could type for days on this, but THANK YOU!
B) BOCAS DEL TORO- A place I visited once in 2008, suddenly becoming a daily fixture in my life. All because of much of which I just spoke of in (A). I got to spend 9 months hearing about the most grimy of claims and charges being thrown about over TRES CRUCES and RED FROG BEACH in Bocas. A ponderous 12 year fight that truly really isn’t a fight at all. In an effort to try to understand both sides, I actually spoke with parties on all sides. In doing so I was earmarked by some as a savior and others as a tool. I’ll just say that anything that involves American citizens being taken advantage of in Panama will garner my interest. But I had to go through 12 years of mud slinging and outrageous claims to try to wrap my hands around this bullshit. I had Cease and Desists sent, Subpoenas and requests made. All because my blog took questions and statements from complete strangers. In the past few months, I have had more people from “within” this investment send me things completely un-solicited than I could have prepared for. Which brings me to (C).
(C) STEVEN- So thankful for the young man I let marry my princess. He is smart, patient, and has given more time of his than I care to mention I have taken from him. I am glad he has intervened and really has dealt with these people for me as opposed to me rattling off my opinions. He has been to the point and wrote what I feel should be heeded by any people that are tied up financially in that mess in Bocas.
At no point in time, since the inception of the Supreme Court in Panama has anything been done that these investors are being asked to wait for. This system is not built nor ready to be set upon to deal with helping “gringos”. I feel these people are being robbed by a system they will not win within. Continually trying to find the right person, lobbyist, “friend”, judge, minister, etc to remove a title. It opens up each and every Panamanian that is accused of providing it. The whole thing has been a novela or soap opera. Filled with protagonists and antagonists depending on your side. My point is simply, when do you stop throwing good money on top of bad? Who does this fight serve? When do people either settle or take their lumps and just go home? Steve even researched the entire structure of attempting to do what is being asked, and the period for doing so was long since passed. So do people just battle over Rights of Possession while never being able to list the asset as owned or theirs? When nothing can be built upon anything with this foolish battle being waged? When no loans or lines of credit can be issued for something that is being disputed? It just sucks for any of the Americans that are still embroiled in the battle. Like that old “Talking Heads” song- “Where on a road to nowhere“. I feel for people in this issue. I tried to understand both sides and it required people far smarter than me to make crystal clear. These Panamanians and the system they work within will continue to take your money and promise some type of “Hail Mary” pass that is suddenly going to end everything on a positive note. I see the opposite. I see lawyers, PR people, newspapers, backroom dealers, etc all wit their hands out taking money from American investors for something that simply is not going to end well. Claims can be made and levied against people about a Supreme Court ruling. It is the basis of all discord. However, at that point in time the defendants or claimants are MOOT. The US President just pardoned a soldier accused or war crimes and murder. Of violating tenets of the Geneva Convention and had his Navy Seal Trident removed. The President absolved him and returned him to an honorable discharge and gave him his pin. My point is, his alleged crimes are no longer a point of contention. A decision has been made. People that want to fight this decision are being asked to essentially pursue the President of the United States, his granted ability to pardon, and the US Constitution. So if your an American that is upset over a Supreme Court ruling on Panama, are you not being asked to do the same? I wish you people a good holiday season and a clear mind going into 2020.