Panama. The dismissal of head of social security institute Juan Jované in September led to a wave of protests that culminated in a march with tens of thousands of participants through the streets of Panama City. According to Countryaah.com, Panama Independence Day is November 3. The protesters demanded that Jované be reinstated and that President Mireya Moscoso publicly guaranteed that the Social Security Fund, long drawn with large deficits, would not be privatized. Assessors saw the Jované case as a catalyst for a general dissatisfaction with Moscow’s economic and social policies.
The growth rate dropped and unemployment rose, which together with the Jované deal caused the opinion figures for the government party’s candidate for the 2004 elections to fall to just under 10%.
Panama City, Spanish Ciudad de Panamá, capital of Panama; 441,000 residents (2012). Panama City is located just east of the mouth of the Panama Canal in the Pacific. The city, which is financially highly dependent on the Panama Canal, is a financial and industrial center with production of oil, steel, wood, textiles and beer, among others. Panama City has a road and train connection with Colón on the Caribbean coast, road connection with Costa Rica via the Pan-American Highway and international airport. In 2014, the city’s first metro line was opened.
Several neighborhoods were damaged by the American invasion in 1989, especially El Chorillo, but most have been rebuilt. The city has two universities.
Panama City was built in 1519 at the site of a Native American fishing village. In 1671, the city was destroyed by British freelancers but rebuilt elsewhere. Panama City became the capital of independent Panama in 1903 and developed into a modern metropolis after the Panama Canal opened in 1914. The city was badly damaged by the US invasion in 1989.
Cuban doctors are deployed against the pandemic
A group of 220 doctors arrive from Cuba to help Panama fight the corona pandemic – despite sharp criticism from the United States. According to the United States and other critics, doctors have poor conditions and are being used in propaganda. President Laurentino Cortizo presented plans to hire doctors from Cuba as early as August, but then backed down after criticism from Washington. Other attempts to hire enough doctors have failed, however, and now the government felt compelled to turn to Cuba anyway. Panama has been hit hardest in Central America by the pandemic. More than 3,600 people have died in covid-19.
Exoneration sentence revoked for ex-president Martinelli
20th of November
A court annuls a previous acquittal against former President Ricardo Martinelli regarding illegal wiretapping and corruption (see August 2019), and orders a new trial. During his tenure as president from 2009 to 2014, Martinelli is accused of using public funds to eavesdrop on more than 150 politicians, journalists and trade union leaders, with the aim of harassing political rivals. Martinelli himself continues to claim that he is being subjected to political persecution, but tweets that he now has an increased chance of winning the presidential election in 2024. “Without a fight, no victories,” he writes.