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Presidents Varela and Trump Meet at the White House on June 19th

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23 minutes ago, JohnF13 said:

Panama already has its own military.  They are disguised ( not well) as police.


Hola John,

And Omar Torrijos proved his National Guard troops patrolling Panama City were civilian police when he added stripes to their dress uniform pants to please the USA.

If US troops were to be reinserted into Panama, I don't know where they would go. All the bases have been converted to other uses. Howard AFB, Albrook, Clayton, Amador, etc no longer exist. I would love to serve again on Fort Grant, I understand my old radio shack is now a 5 start hotel.


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Varela to meet Trump at White House


PRESIDENT Juan Carlos Varela will meet with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Monday, June 19.

The entourage is made up of the first lady, Lorena Castillo de Varela, the Vice-President and Chancellor, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, Security Minister Alexis Bethancourt and Economy and Finance Minister Dulcidio de la Guardia  and the head of the National Security Council Rolando Lopez



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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to Presidents Varela and Trump Meet at the White House on June 19th
On 6/17/2017 at 7:09 AM, Keith Woolford said:

Some Panamanians are concerned that the POTUS will try to pressure Panama into reinstating the presence of the U.S. Military here.


The U.S. Ambassador to Panama, John Feeley, spoke to this issue yesterday.

US Ambassador says that "Bases Gringas" are Not a Topic of Trump-Varela Meeting

Irma Rodriguez Reyes | 17 Jun 2017 09.57am


the ambassador of the United States, John D. Feeley rejected the possibility that this country request to establish military bases in Panama in the first meeting between presidents Juan Carlos Varela and Donald Trump.

Using a tweet that publishes the official account of the embassy and that bears the initials of the name of the diplomat said: "Presidents of Panama and the US will touch many topics, including cooperation against international crime. But the gringo bases in Panama? No.is not an issue, happily".

The message is published only three days for the start of a tour of the president Varela in the US where you will be received by his counterpart Trump and after generated reactions in Panama by citizens, who fear a "hidden agenda" at this meeting.

Varela will travel to this tour with his wife, the First Lady Lorraine Castle; with Rolando López, director of the National Security Council and the ministers Dulcidio De La Guardia, and Alexis Bethancourt.


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Varela warned  “no US  bases”

Varela told beware the deal maker
As President Juan Carlos Varela and his entourage prepared for his Monday meeting with US President,  and deal maker, Donald Trump, he got a clear message: “No more US  bases in Panama under  any circumstances.”
Given the more than likely possibility that this is a Trump  proposal, a group of prominent Panamanian citizens issued an open letter discouraging any such deal with the US leader, reports La Estrella.

Trump  firmly believes handing the Canal over to Panama was a bad deal.

“Under no circumstances’ should the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking be allowed to ‘involve the establishment in our territory of military forces from the United States or any other country,’ states the letter, signed by the ex-magistrate Guillermo Márquez Amado, former President Juan Antonio Tejada, former Director of the National Police Ebrahim Asvat, ex-legislator Teresita Yanis de Arias, Olimpo Sáez, Ricardo Bermúdez, Pedro Vargas, Alejandro Garrido, Carlos González De la Lastra, Briseida de López, Guillermo Ríos and Raúl Arias .

“After decades of struggle and sacrifice, Panama has overcome the presence of troops in its territory and proscribed at the constitutional level the existence of a national army, which is why we do not understand why sectors within the country are fanning such a proposal. .. “, the letter says.
The group of Panamanians considers that “it is also not acceptable to restart the failed initiative  of the multilateral anti-drug center that involves the presence of military forces in our territory.”
The proposal of the multilateral center arose during the government period of Ernesto Pérez Balladares (1994-1999), but social pressures against it  ensured did not materialize.

So far, only three issues have been named  as part of the agenda of the meeting between Varela and Trump: drug trafficking, security and the Venezuelan crisis.

Those who sign the proclamation consider that the fight against drug trafficking is a state issue that can only be tackled in an integral way (prevention and repression) and sustained cooperation in which the United States has a major and unavoidable responsibility.

The recent  arrest in the United States of people linked to international terrorist networks who would have considered Panama and the Canal as a possible terrorist target  is an additional indicator added to trafficking that has raised red flags in the community.

“These are elements that lead us to suspect that the United States will try to reinstall military bases in our country,” Márquez Amado told La Estrella

Former President Aristides Royo, was more sanguine: “I do not believe that the president of the United States  will request the installation of military bases and, if he does, it is very unlikely that the president of Panama will accept it,” he said.
” It is unlikely a president of Panama will accept foreign military bases in the country because he knows that the rejection “will be immense,” added the ex-president.
However, said  Royo the Panama Canal Neutrality Treaty grants the United States the right to intervene in the country if it feels that the inter-oceanic route is in danger.
In his opinion, the Pentagon understood that it does not require military bases in Panama to defend the Panama Canal from any threat.

For Márquez Amado, the reasons may be  political strategy. President Trump seeks to project the United States as a large and powerful country, and that “alarms us”he said.
Former President Perez Balladares believes that “there is no justification, from Panama’s perspective of Panama’s for military bases in our country.”

In any case,  he said , it would have to be taken to a popular consultation. But beyond that, he said, “our Constitution is clear as to the establishment of any military presence in our territory.” Internal weekness
In the statement to the country, the group of Panamanians concludes,  that they are aware that Varela’s meeting with Trump occurs  “at a time  of great internal political weakness, citizen unrest and lack of credibility in justice,”

Varela begins an official tour Monday in the US capital that includes meetings with Trump, International Monetary Fund (IMF) director Christine Lagarde; The president of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Luis Alberto Moreno; And the main US  security and migration authorities.

Varela and the first lady, Lorena Castillo de Varela, will be received shortly before noon by Trump and his wife, Melania


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US offers training to security forces of Panama in meeting with President Varela


The secretary of Homeland Security of the United States, John Kelly, met today with the President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, and offered support in the training of the security forces of Panama, in addition to congratulating him for his efforts to reform the police and the anti-narcotics body of the country.

Varela, who is visiting Washington, spoke about bilateral cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking both in his meeting with Kelly as in another that he kept this Monday with the administrator of the U.S. Agency (DEA), Chuck Rosenberg.

With Kelly, the President addressed the "strong bilateral relationship" in matters of "immigration, law enforcement, and border security priorities in the air, land, and sea" in the region, according to a statement issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

"Secretary Kelly congratulated President Varela for his efforts to reform and professionalize the Panamanian security services, which includes around 6,000 agents involved in counter-narcotics operations," the statement said.

Kelly "offered to provide training and other general support to law enforcement agencies of Panama", adds the note.

The head of National Security emphasized that the efforts of the U.S. government in Central America are not only limited to the countries of the North Triangle, but also affect Panama, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.

It also recognized "the leadership of Panama as a regional partner and how effective and enthusiastic ally in the narcotics interdiction efforts and efforts to combat transnational criminal organizations," according to the statement.

Varela met today with the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States, Steve Mnuchin, who spoke about the progress of your country in the fight against money laundering, according to the US agency.

This Monday, Varela also met with the president of the United States, Donald Trump, and with the Administrator of the DEA, Chuck Rosenberg, who spoke on "the increase of communication" between law enforcement agencies of both countries.

Varela and Rosenberg tried "drug trafficking in the region and the need for regional partners to continue fighting together the flow of illicit drugs," in a meeting "productive", according to Efe said today a DEA spokesman, who asked not to be identified.


Edited by Keith Woolford
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