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Is Panama on path to Venezuelan chaos?

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MEDIA WATCH: Panama on path to Venezuelan chaos?


Annette Planells

Posted 04/02/2019
What's happening to us? writes Annette Planells director of Movin in an op-ed piece in La Prensa. There are more and more people with a fear of public participation in the fight against corruption. I understand their fears, it is not easy to denounce the actions of people that we know or whose relatives are close to us. Certainly, this causes discomfort, complaints, and even family fights and, beyond this, it is not easy to risk a business or reputation by taking a public stance ... the consequences can even affect our heritage or our source of employment, or those of people we appreciate.
No, it is not easy to face complaints, complaints, public scrutiny or many times risk being a victim of defamation. The question I ask myself is whether it will be easier later.
How many Venezuelans will not be asked today if they had acted before if they had participated in politics or supported an activist who at the time was trying to warn of the possible consequences of what was happening?
What happened in Venezuela did not begin with the election of Chavez.  It was a process of political degradation caused precisely by the institutional deterioration and corruption, which resulted in a lack of response to a population that decided to try a different alternative. How far is Panama from reaching a similar situation.
Participating is not just about applying for a position of choice, but taking positions. The election is an opportunity for renewal, and today there are hundreds of new candidates to different positions of choice, many of them with a path of rectitude and with the desire to participate to make a positive change. They need support to compete in an unequal election, against electoral machinery that guarantees the continuity of those who take advantage of the power to re-elect themselves.
Surely, many of us have lost hope that there are substantial changes, we have lost confidence because they have cheated us repeatedly and, surely, they can deceive us again.
There are no guarantees that if we support someone, when he comes to power he will fulfill what he promised, but what we can be sure of is that if those who are present are re-elected or those who were, our democracy will continue to deteriorate until we arrive at a situation like the one that today our brothers live in Nicaragua and in Venezuela. Our only guarantee is to investigate if the new candidates who present themselves to the election today can sustain their promises with their trajectory.
We worry today to protect our companies or our reputation, will there be something to worry about when we have lost the opportunity to recover our democracy? How will we explain to our children or grandchildren when it is their turn to fight for democracy or migrate to another country?


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