By James “JB” Bryson
Like many that have checked out the local papers or have graced this site with a check in here and there, you will always see that I for one am keenly observant of the articles centered around the current administration of Varela and it’s often self righteous rhetoric used to describe the former cabinet of which he was a major player in. A ode to the old term of the “pot calling the kettle black”.
Odebrecht steals the current headlines, and in 2016 it was the Panama Papers. All referencing a massive pay to play scandal that has been ingrained within Panamanian politics since the fall of Noriega, and the final passing of the canal under full Panamanian control. Thus giving a small portion of Panamanian elites access to what amounts to the worlds most lucrative toll booth.
I reside full time in Panama now, and consider it my home by proxy. I do not hold dual citizenship at this time, yet have befriended many Panamanians that live in abject poverty after high rise after high rise continue to expand down Balboa. My concern is that Varela is merely a face for change while still overtly overseeing a system that is rife with corruption. It is an example of one person rolling or giving up another, as opposed to the results of an intense investigation into the entire process. Let’s not forget who was Ricardo Martinelli’s right hand man.
One of the issues that I personally will be looking deeper into in the land deals that take place within Panamanian jurisdiction, yet off the mainland. As in Toboga and Bocas del Toro. I have been contacted by many a “potential” Panamanian expat that remains in the US after being bilked by unscrupulous and opportunistic LAWYERS in many cases that are aware of the mouse traps that are easily set for unaware potential retirees.
Panama has great weather, a diverse culture, and beautiful and patriotic people, but there is much to navigate through before one can see that picture clearly.
Keep tuning in for new posts, and enjoy your weekend wherever you are.