Martinelli government piles up media disasters

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Tomas Guerra, nightclub owner-turned-consul

IF you want to see our beloved government and its supporters make total fools of themselves and their country, all you need to do is switch on the TV or the YouTubes.

In case you missed it, dear reader, there is currently a small scandal about an interview the Panamanian consul in Miami gave on the Show de Fernando Hidalgo. In what was clearly a sponsored segment (meaning that Panama paid the producers to do a segment on the Canal), consul Tomas Guerra, a pony-tailed nightclub owner from Calle Uruguay who owes his post to the fact that he campaigned for Martinelli, displayed a stunning lack of historical and geographical knowledge about his own country.

Here's the clip:

The French got the idea for the Canal in 1903 or 1904? Really? And they were defeated by a mosquito and not by technical problems AND the fact that financing of the endeavor turned into a huge scandal? Between 40 and 50 ships transit daily? For sure? And Panama is/was the coastal area of Colombia?

Best part, we think, is where this dumbshit describes how the Pacific is "higher than the Atlantic", and how a ship entering from the Caribbean is "lifted by the locks to the level of the Pacific Ocean".

Following that logic, the Magelhaen Strait must be a giant waterfall where the Pacific spills into the Atlantic, then? Or maybe this genius thinks that south of Argentina the earth turns flat and the oceans level out, magically. Whichever it is, he is obviously completely clueless about the history and working of the Panama Canal. It takes bottomless depths of stupidity to screw up on the rehearsed softball questions the host was asking - the host who even corrected this dipshit consul when he said that the Canal had so far generated $25 million for Panama.

It didn't take long for Panama's intellectuals to weigh in. On Telemetro, the rector of the University of Panama, Gustavo Garcia de Paredes, said that those who represent Panama abroad should be academically trained and have knowledge about our country. However, that coming from a self-proclaimed "rector magnificus" whose doctorate is fake and whose only ever "scientific" publication is an introduction in a booklet about domino means that he himself wouldn't qualify for the job either.

Not to be outdone, Martinelli gave an interview tonight on TV too, about several issues plaguing his government and the population. This appearance went down the same disastrous path as that of the consul, with Martinelli claiming that the water problem in the capital could not be solved "because of the weather" as there had been more rainfall than anytime over the last 5,000 years.

As anyone knows, Panama's meteorologists started measuring and documenting rainfall about 3,000 years BC.

But the highlight was when he started complaining that being president is "very lonely" and added that he has "more interesting things to do than being president". Is he just in one of his depressive episodes or will he indeed be leaving?

What is really going on here is that this government - not even two years into its term - has already lost its direction completely, the alliance with the Paname├▒istas is crumbling and the appointments of loyalists instead of qualified people are wreaking havoc - and not just because of what the WikiLeaks cables reveal.

Can this be fixed? Nope. It will get worse from here on, and we very much doubt Martinelli will finish his term. Stay tuned, dear reader, this is gonna be fun to watch.

UPDATE: Instead of taking blame for appointing this nitwit in the first place, the Foreign Ministry has ordered its diplomats to keep their mouths shut if not authorized to talk. Yeah, that will solve the problem of having unqualified people working to represent Panama, for sure.

7 thoughts on “Martinelli government piles up media disasters

  1. If instead of an ad hoc interview the clip was sponsored, there is no excuse for the bloopers. In that case it can be expected that on vital issues (infrastructure), similar bloopers will be made, with taxpayers being billed to repair the damage. From that perspective it is possible that the definition of “punishable offense” will become “publicly suggesting that a governmental official is wrong”.

    Nevertheless there is an old song of praise from 1968, “Panama Querida” by Tabou Combo, a band from Haiti, suggesting good relations, no commerce.

    But an interview in the US invariably regards big bucks.

  2. It just goes to show, that certain countries give more importance to status, monetary and otherwise. True education and knowledge is the essence of life, not having money and status.

  3. No real damage done in this case, because only Spanish speaking morons watch the Show de Fernando Hidalgo. Actually, you may have noticed that the interviewer is just as stupid as the interviewed… I guess that the public is equally uneducated and does’t give a damn about the Panama Canal.

    Panama has had a long tradition of appointing the most embarrassing cousin of the president’s family to the Consulate of Miami. It is the most visited diplomatic post by members of the ruling party and the only requirement needed to keep the job is to pick them up at the airport and limo them shopping at Dadland mall….

  4. MEDUCA does not teachI

    It is used to Baby sits the Poor and Underprivileged of Panama.

    Even the Rich and affluent students do not receive an Education which even approaches a five grade level.

    The Majority of the graduates of high school can no even write in Spanish above a fifth or sixth grade level.

    The University graduates fare no better, they seem to be on the same educational level as these so called High School graduates which rates within the same level of competence

    All you have to do is read all the of spelling, grammar, and diction errors in the National, Local newspapers, Television, and Radio.

    The failure rate among the Public school students in Basic remedial Spanish use and grammar is truly unbelievable in excess of 40%(Sources: La Prensa, TVN, & Telemetro).

    Basic remedial math failures in excess of 59%(Sources: La Prensa, Panama American, TVN, & Telemetro).

    MEDUCA is Broken, Morally and now it seems monetarily also?

    MEDUCA can not even pay it’s teaches their remote pay and per Diem owed for over 14 months(Sources: La Prensa, Panama American, TVN, & Telemetro).

    This Consulate official like others, such as one young female(the actual Consul, not a secretary)in the Montreal Canadian Panamanian Consulate, that does not even speak French at all and has very haphazard English language skills to booth!

    This seems to be systematic of the Panamanian Diplomatic Corps.

    This President and most of the other Officials of this Panamanian Government do not have a clue as to the proper Diplomatic and Political Protocols.

    This Panamanian Government does not know how to implement the proper Diplomatic Protocols, Political Protocols, and proper relationships within internationally accepted standards of the Diplomatic Community !

    Putting children of friends and relatives to represent your country Diplomatically does not reflect a very effectual state of mind or being.

    “Panama where the numbers never add up”

  5. @JanB: I worked in TV long enough to know that these shows are rehearsed, and interviews are prepared with guests because it’s entertainment and nobody wants surprises. So this guy knew what he was gonna be asked about, and he can make excuses all he wants about being unprepared and nervous; fact of the matter is that he doesn’t have basic knowledge about Panama, the Canal or geography.

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