Honeymoons, Palin and Herrera

  • 17/09/2008 02:00
  • 17/09/2008 02:00
CLOSER TO HOME. Soon after winning the nomination as the presidential candidate of the PRD (Revolutionary Democratic Party) Reuters news...

CLOSER TO HOME. Soon after winning the nomination as the presidential candidate of the PRD (Revolutionary Democratic Party) Reuters news agency carried a story linking Balbina Herrera to Manuel Noriega, although during a PRD (candidates’ debate she distanced herself from the jailed former dictator.

Reuters described her as a leftist with an anti-U.S. past, “once linked to to former military strongman Gen. Manuel Noriega?. “She also played a key role in heated anti-American street protests during a visit to Panama by former President George H.W. Bush shortly after the U.S. invasion.” “But she denies once being an ally of Noriega, now in a Florida jail for drug trafficking.

“?Noriega has said he hid in Herrera's house from U.S. soldiers who invaded Panama and overthrew him in 1989.”

Within the PRD, none of this is a problem, as the government is littered with top level people who were in power in the Noriega years, including the Minister of Government and Justice, Daniel Delgado Diamante, a former senior officer in the Defense Forces?.

How this will play out among the rest of the voters is debatable. With talk of a return to militarism in the air among the divided opposition, it could be an interesting campaign.

And for for ex-pats living here? In the past many lived happily under different Latin American dictatorships, adopting the CIA mantra::“He may be a SOB, but he’s our SOB.”

OOPS, OOPS AND MORE OOPS. Yesterday Our Man in Panama appeared at the head of a column written by our regular Tuesday columnist Phil Edmonston. The mistake was compounded by the fact that the subject matter was cars and warranty programs, something that has earned Phil a sterling reputation as author of the Lemonaid books, which have helped thousands of readers beat the system, Our Man has been at the receiving end of warranty problems, but is not an expert at solving them.

PAIN AT THE DENTIST Recently we have carried a number of reports about the valiant work of Panamanian dentists, many of whom work in under funded health clinics, providing care to the poor, including our indigenous population. However in Panama there is a surplus of dentists, many without a job.

Meanwhile in Britain a recent report says: “There is a well-publicized shortage of dentists in the UK, many of whom no longer accept patients on the NHS. (National Health Service). Of those that do accept NHS patients, there is often a long waiting list that could prevent you from getting on the dentist's books for another two or three years after making your initial inquiry.

The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. “

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