Politics

“Without a fight, no victory”

The Naso returned to Plaza Catedral today to demonstrate in front of the Presidency. In the afternoon, Naso protesters stood outside the Presidency gates with banners yelling the Frenadosa Panamanian Social Movement slogan:  “Without a fight, no victory!” A Naso spokesperson spoke through the loudspeaker.  Referring to the Naso march on the city (no word…

On the Causeway

Last night, the police stopped all cars at the entrance of the Amador Causeway checking for drunk drivers, registrations and licenses. Despite the new administration’s institution of a police-wide salary raise, at least one officer padded his pockets with a little extra. One source, who had indeed neglected to renew a license, avoided a ticket…

Panama-U.S. Free Trade Agreement Still on the Shelf

The United States and Panama signed a trade promotion agreement, also known as a free trade agreement, on June 28, 2007.  It was quickly approved by Panama two weeks later.  More than two years later, U.S. approval remains stalled due to the new administration’s concerns about systemic issues such as Panama’s tax and labor laws. Some…

The President’s Grocery Chain

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Wong Chang family founded Almacen 99, a hardware and fabric store, in the city of Colon, and continued to expand.  Ricardo Alberto Martinelli Berrocal was the chain’s Citibank account executive.  In 1981, Mr. Martinelli was offered the position of Almacen 99 administrator, and the chain became Super…