National unity call to back El Siglo and La Estrella de Panamá against US sanctions
Tne panamanians newspapers are under the retrictions of the "Clinton List" launched by U.S. Treasury's Department
At least six of Panama's former presidents, two former vice presidents, several former ministers , including seven from Foreing Affairs, five former Panamanian ambassadors to Washington, politicians, as well as civil rights and relevant public opinion leaders back the "Declaration for Panama" against the closing of two national newspapers under the sanctions of the U.S. Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
The document, published in today's edition of La Estrella de Panamá, under the prohibition of OFAC, with tabloid El Siglo, establishes the indisputable importance of free press, freedom of speech and free opinion to democracies all around the world.
"Panama and United States can not disagree on this matter", said the statement, open to everyone to sign.
Amongst the first suscribers are people representing all kind of political tendencies and memebers of almost every government since Panama recovered its democracy, many of them in open ideological opossition, but togheter in defense of freedom of speech.
"United States does not lose anything attending our request. Panamá loses everything without its right to freedom of expression", demands the declaration adressed to the Government of the United States of America in order to measure the consecuences of the closing of El Siglo and La Estrella de Panamá, owned by Abdul Waked, designated by OFAC under the Kingpin Act against money laundering.
Without OFAC's licence, which expired last July 13, neither an American national nor A company can engage in any type of business with the panamanian newspapers.
The document was signed on July 14, on the anniversary of the French Revolution, mother of the modern liberties that inspired the free world as we know it.
Martín Torrijos Espino, Mireya Moscoso, Ernesto Pérez Balladares, Nicolás Ardito Barletta, Ricardo De La Espriella, Aristides Royo and Francisco Rodríguez Poveda, among the former presidents, Eduardo Morgan, Roberto Eisenmann, Elías Castillo, among Lawyers, businessman and politicians, signed the open letter.