Temas Especiales

30 de Jun de 2022


Some ideas are dead on arrival

PANAMA. Some ideas come from outer space, some are ill conceived, others are just stupid.

PANAMA. Some ideas come from outer space, some are ill conceived, others are just stupid.

Take your choice of adjectives when reacting to the suggestion that Panama’s annual carnival, noise, garbage, booze and sex fest be moved to the Cinta Costera.

While the city is still figuring out how to meet the estimated $1 million cost of upkeep of the new citizen’s recreation center, we now have a proposal that could destroy the newly planted grass, damage trees and shut down the vaunted expressway.

In the surrounding areas the parking and garbage problems associated with carnival will have the voting inhabitants of the high priced properties of Bella Vista and Avenida Balboa, banging on the doors of the mayor’s office.

So choose your adjective.


The call for easier access to visas for Panamanians wanting to visit Canada is finally getting the attention of the Canadian public.

When the Panama Star drew the attention of visiting Canadian media to the problem, it led to a question to visiting Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Well briefed on the FTA negotiations, which is why he was in town, he seemed temporarily floored by the shot from left field but, as a seasoned politician, quickly responded that the matter was being looked into.

The follow up to this was coverage on CTV, a Canadian TV network, in the Globe and Mail, Canada’s national daily, and Canadian Press, a major news agency.

So now, at the end of negotiations for a Canada-Panama FTA, politicians and public in the Great North, have been alerted to the fact that getting a visa to visit relatives, take a holiday, or do business requires clearing many hurdles, the biggest of which is the location of the visa office in Guatemala leading to long processing delays.

Compare this with once replacing a lost passport at a Canadian Embassy in under two hours.

Former Canadian MP, and president of the Canadian Panama Association, Phil Edmonston has also lit a match to light up the problem that has plagued successive Canadian ambassadors attending social and business functions.

Many an evening has been made less enjoyable after being tackled by irate visa seekers.

Phil has e-mailed former legislative colleagues in Ottawa, the Prime Minister’s office, and Canadian media outlets.

The match has got the fire going under the pot. One hopes that Mr. Harper is able to resolve the matter through his appropriate ministers, before the FTA gets its final signature and is put before the Canadian Parliament.

As Panama’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Roberto Henriquez says, the current situation is “terrible”, and in the long run could negatively affect the FTA.