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  • A Victory for Freedom in Panama

    Conservative supermarket tycoon Ricardo Martinelli resoundingly won Panama’s presidential election Sunday with more than 60% of the vote. Already Martinelli is pushing for a free trade deal with the United States. Heritage fellow Ray Walser puts the victory in context:

    The Martinelli victory breaks the Latin Left’s 2009 electoral winning streak of Venezuela, El Salvador, and Ecuador. The average voter in Panama is betting on a dynamic and productive relationship with the U.S. and has demonstrated confidence in continued strong ties between the two nations. It is incumbent on the Obama Administration to reach out quickly to President-elect Martinelli in order to develop an agenda of close cooperation and mutual benefit. Specifically, the Obama Administration should do the following:

    • Establish a timetable for submitting the 2009 Trade Agenda agreement for Congressional approval;
    • Act quickly to strengthen regional law enforcement and counter-drug cooperation with Panama and make sure that Panama receives its full share of Merida Initiative funding; and
    • Embrace President-elect Martinelli’s interest in combating corruption and strengthening the effectiveness of government institutions by working with Panama on rule of law and anti-corruption measures.

    Panama is an important U.S. ally in the Americas. President-elect Martinelli’s victory now offers the opportunity to strengthen this relationship—to the benefit of both countries.

    Posted in International [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to A Victory for Freedom in Panama

    1. Steve -- Fort Myers, says:

      Why is it so impingent that Americans continue to sacrifice their jobs, factories and industries so we can support another nations economy?

      We continue to lose in the "free trade" business to an annual figure of over 800 billion dollars. America can no longer afford to support it's foreign interests with trade concessions that are bankgrupting our country! Wake up Americans!

      Forget this trade agreement and let's get busy recinding the other free trade agreement and bring the jobs home. An economically strong America is the best thing we can offer our friends and allies around the world, and it is also the best salvation for America's struggling masses!

    2. Sam Taliaferro, Pana says:

      As an American living and doing business in Panama for the past 12 years I can attest to the breath of fresh air we all feel about our new leader. Even though we have had "democratic" elections now for 4 administration, each has made promises, most of which are not kept. Just business as usual in trying to make as much for themselves as quickly as possible.

      The two party system has been broken and it remains to be seen how our new man will navigate, but what I know of him is he is honest, experienced and successful both in and out of government and really wants to help his country. As he already has money and power his time can be spent on doing just that while in office.

      With Socialist leaning countries now in control of most of north and south America maybe Panama will be the one true light of freedom to remind us all of how things used to be.

    3. Pingback: Felicidades Panama!

    4. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      Steve, Florida

      US can not follow any isolationist policies. To begin with, we owe China close to 1 Trillion and our government spending is out of control. If we close our border for trade, the others will retaliate. We don't have raw materials, manufacturing and capital to be able to isolate ourselves. The only way we can increase our piece of the pie is to bake a much bigger pie through trade with all the countries.

      Please read about Smoot-Hawley trade protection act in the 1930s which basically took us and kept us in the Great Depression. FDR finally realized the harm that it was doing to our economy and started to relax trade restrictions. Remember, the US at that time was a top manufacturing country.

      It is our government policies including taxation that has resulted to a large extent the flight of our manufacturing capability. The government and enviro-fascists killed the nuclear power industry and as a result there are very few manufacturers left in the US. If we want to install nuclear plants, the chances are that it will be built outside the US. It is not the free trade but the toxic government regulations that has killed off manufacturing in the US.

    5. panama says:

      Many investors were waiting to invest in real state after the elections, now they feel very confident about their decision.

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