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US Vice President to Visit Panama and Three South American Countries

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US Vice-president in Panama August 17


US VICE-PRESIDENT Mike Pence  is scheduled to leave the  White House turmoil on Thursday August 17 and head for Panama to kick off his official tour of the region.

The announcement came from Panama’s Foreign Ministry on August 10. No details of his timetable have been published.



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Moderator comment: I suspect this visit is the reason the ACS (American Citizen Services) unit at the US Embassy will be processing only emergency requests for assistance. See:

1 hour ago, NewsLady said:

The American Citizen Services (ACS) unit will be closed to the public for most regular services from August 14-18. However, a limited number of appointment slots for passport and CRBA applications will be available on August 14 and 15. Other than those limited appointment slots, ACS will only process emergency passports and provide emergency services from August 14-18. 


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Hidden reasons alleged for Pence Panama visit

Air Force 2 arrived in Panama at 6.26 a.m.

THE HIDDEN  reason for the visit to Panama of US Vice President Mike Pence is to drum up support for military intervention in Venezuela says a statement from The Canal Institute of International Studies of the University of Panama.

The letter follows a Colombian warning that no Latin American country would support US military action in Venezuela. President Trump’s suggestion has already been condemned by the  Venezuelan opposition to President Maduro.

“The Venezuelan people have every right to choose their way of governing and without external pressures and without prescribed formula… and the Panamanian people have every right to know the issues that the United States delegation will discuss with President Varela.” says the document.

In a letter to President  Varela , he group recalled his  June meeting with  President Donald Trump at the White House.

The signatories point out that it is normal for high-level meetings to leave questions, above all, they say, because last June’s meeting was preceded by the consequences of scandals known as ‘ The Panama Papers’, bribery by construction firm Odebrecht and pressure which the United States exercises through the ‘Clinton List’. This last measure that directly affects the newspapers Estrella de Panama  and El Siglo and the right of Panamanians to the freedoms of press and, expression

“It is worrying that you did not report a single detail of the meeting with Trump, except for the assertion that Panama remains a strong  US ally, ” the group says.

The signatories ask President Varela for a detailed report of his  June visit to Washington.

The letter concludes by asking that Varela be the guarantor that the security of the Panamanians will not be threatened by conflicts that are foreign to them.

The letter was signed by: Carlos A. Mendoza, Mario Galindo, Rolando Villalaz, Celestino A. Araúz, Luis Navas, Rafael Ruiloba, Hernando Franco Muñoz, Olmedo García, Raúl González, Denis J. Chávez, Aracelly De León, Filiberto Morales, Salomón Samudio, Mario C. De Leon, Gilberto Solis, Carlos Agraje, Miguel A. Candanedo, Diógenes Sánchez, Manuel O. Nieto, Harley J. Mitchell and Armando Díaz.



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Pence ends regional sprint in Panama

Time fpr a selfie

US VICE-PRESIDENT Mike Price spent six hours in Panama on Thursday, August 18 before returning to Washington and the White House pressure cooker.

OPINION-AUTOR_LPRCRT20170817_0001_1-1-300x196.jpgHe was finishing off his Latin-America sprint and took time to spend  just an hour in a closed door  meeting  with President Juan Carlos Varela

Trade relations, bilateral treaties and the situation of Venezuela dominated his public pronouncements.

The United States wants to make more investments in Panama, has an interest in expanding trade routes and knows that the Canal is extremely important in this regard, he said.

“The expansion of the canal has resulted in billions of dollars of investment in the US, creating good jobs in manufacturing, transportation, and agriculture, and all ports around the world are trying to accommodate neo -Panamax ships,” including The one in Miami, Florida, which just completed a $2 billion  expansion”  he said while visiting  the new locks.

Pence took advantage of the Latin American tour that ended in Panama to manifest the position of the United States to restore democracy in the neighboring country, with Trump’ talk of a military role setting off alarm bells across the region.

“Trust in this: the United States will continue to take all the measure of US economic and diplomatic power until democracy is restored in Venezuela,” said Pence.

In public speeches, there were largely predictable apple pie exchanges.  Varela emphasized Panama’s interest for more US companies to invest in infrastructure projects in the country.

“Panama has become the great connection for trade with the logistics system, the expanded Canal, the Master Plan of the Interoceanic Zone, which will turn our logistics hub into a world-class one,” said Varela.

And Pence, after thanking the “leadership” of President Varela, stressed “support for market policies” that have resulted in “incredible” economic growth, which has been above 6% in recent years.

In terms of security, the Panamanian leader stressed that there was agreement on the risk to the region of increased drug production in neighboring countries, and that there is determination to defeat with the support of allies like the United States, reports La Estrella.

On migration, Varela said that the country plays an important role, because it protects its borders to keep them safe and detecting irregular migrants that represent a risk for America. In the coming days measures will be announced to support the return to democratic order in Venezuela and strengthen the internal security of the country.



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U.S. Military Personnel Assigned to Pence in Panama Relieved of Duty for Enjoying Female Hospitality

The U.S. military personnel who took some women to their hotel during the visit of the vice president Mike Pence to Latin America, was in Panama and not in Colombia, as had been reported initially, according to NBC.

The Military, members of the Army and the Air Force, were assigned to the communications equipment of Pence and were relieved of their duties at the White House after being identified by the security cameras of the Panamanian hotel.

At first, NBC, who exclusively published the information, said that the incident had occurred in Cartagena (Colombia), but an officer of the Department of Defense also clarified to the news organization that it really happened in Panama.

The soldiers involved in the incident did not register the women when they were taken to the hotel, in accordance with three other sources within the Department of Defense, who explained that they were identified afterwards through the building's camera network.

The soldiers were there as a result of the trip Pence made a few weeks ago to the Central American country, where he ended his first Latin American tour.

According to a White House source cited by the news chain, Pence had not yet initiated the trip when the incident occurred with the women. It is unknown at this time if they were prostitutes.

The military had to return to the United States and were relieved of their duties at the White House as soon as they met the accusations.

"We are aware of the incident and is currently under investigation," said Pentagon spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Haverstick, to the chain.

"We can confirm that the individuals in question have been reassigned back to the Army and the Air Force," added Haverstick.

In 2012, Eight Secret Service agents who work for a presidential trip to Colombia of then-President Barack Obama lost their jobs after being accused of taking a number of prostitutes from a striptease club to their hotel rooms.


Edited by Keith Woolford
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