Booze vending consul strikes again

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Italo Giovanni Afú (center), representing Panama at the Canary Islands carnival

WE didn't know we had one and we don't understand why we need one, but Panama employs a consul in the Canary Islands, a part of Spain just off the African coast. This little known fact had probably continued its existence in obscurity, were it not that this consul, one Italo Giovanni Afú Quiel, has caused a bit of a scandal when pictures appeared of him partying in the streets dressed up like a woman, a banana firmly planted between his fake breasts, as part of carnival celebrations on the islands. And now Panamanians, after the bruhaha about that other consul Tomas Guerra (A Calle Uruguay nightclub owner who got posted to Miami for serving Martinelli free drinks during the campaign) who went on TV to show the world that he is a bumbling idiot who doesn't know how the Canal works nor the basics of Panama's history and geography - those Panamanians have discovered that their government and its foreign service members are imbeciles, dear reader. Turmoil!

But wait! Italo Giovanni Afú Quiel - doesn't that name ring a bell with you? It should!

Yes, just under a year ago, we reported here how this character used to be a brand manager at Hermanos Varela, the company of our vice-president and minister of foreign affairs that produces very bad rum and seco. And then it turned out that Varela was using his diplomats to boost foreign sales of his booze, and this very Canary consul/transvestite was sending out emails promoting special offers on rum purchases. Remember now?

Italo Giovanni Afú Quiel appears to be family of the infamous Carlos Tito Afú, embroiled in the CEMIS scandal - he was the guy who gave a press conference denouncing how he had accepted a bribe, waving a fistful of dollars, and then managed to get a career boost out of that sleazy affair.

As with the Miami consul and with the rum sales operation, Varela stated that he will not fire the transvestite Canary consul. Of course he won't. If they had to fire each official who makes a fool of himself and the country there would be no end to it.

UPDATE: The consul resigned. But that didn't stop a Miami TV station from dedicating a song to him. Ariba Panama! Vamos bien!

15 thoughts on “Booze vending consul strikes again

  1. In his mind he still works at the “Pub Herrerano”… “Estas ready…?”
    and he has not realized he is not in Azuero Carnivals…
    shame on him… !
    VAMOS BIEN

  2. FIRST OF ALL, I WANT TO CLARIFY THAT ALL WHO FEEL OFFENDED BECAUSE THIS GUY DRESSED AS A WOMAN FOR CARNAVAL, ARE A BUNCH OF IGNORANT. THE FAMOUS CARNAVAL DE CANARIAS, IS DEFINED BY THE FACT THAT THE GREAT MAJORITY OF HETEROSEXUL MEN DRESS AS WOMEN, INCLUDING POLITICIANS!
    WHAT SURPRISES ME IS THAT THIS KIND OF NEWS (ONLY INTENDED TO DAMAGE THE IMAGE OF A PERSON WHO JOINS THE TRADITIONAL CELEBRATIONS WHERE IS ASSIGNED TO WORK) GET PUBLISHED. I DO NOT KNOW THIS GUY, BUT I CONGRATULATE HIM SINCE FOR SHOWING HE HAS NOTHING TO HIDE.
    AND TO THE WRITER OF THIS ARTICLE, SORRY TO INFORM YOU THAT YOU ARE A CAVEMAN!

    • @PANAMEÑA: I’m not offended because he dresses up like a woman. I’m offended that someone who represents Panama continues to make a fool of himself. Other than that, I can’t find any explanation as to why we need a consul in the Canary Islands in the first place.

  3. What a big deal. We all know how the diplomats are appointed in Panama. Any fool can go represent our country abroad as long as his/her family is well connected. I dont see the sin in dressing up as a woman in a carnival, as long as he does not dress up as a woman to attend consular business. Knowing how our consuls are appointed, I do not expect to much of them.
    They are not career diplomats and I doubt very much that they are intelectuals. This is just another dumb guy collecting a pay check due to a political appointment. That is a the real shame.

  4. Nice rebuttal by the author. I agree, people should be able to enjoy the holidays (however they wish to do that), but the editor has a point. Panama is being made a fool of on the international scene by a bunch of corrupt, cowardly, and truly stupid politicians claiming to represent it. There should be a requirement that all new politicians should hold undergraduate degrees; at least. Their knowledge of domestic issues, international politics, and even simple geography is truly awful. This would explain why nobody takes this country seriously, your truly included.

  5. Who could ever trust a man with such appalling and inappropriate taste in women’s clothing. A nice little cocktail dress would have suited much better.

  6. @Panamana,

    As a fellow caveman I must defend my kin, the editor of this site. The diplomats of caveman countries are generally held to a higher standard than the fiesteros of our nations. Although they are expected to appreciate local culture they must obey certain protocols of behaviour as diplomats. They are, after all, representing our country.

    So I assume you feel represented by this consul? Judging by the comments in the local press many Panamanians feel humiliated also.

    It is also interesting how you feel that this blog is somehow lowering the image of Panama but this party animal isn’t. I think what we have here is another case of xenophobia. As a foreigner you have no right to your opinion commenting on anything unless we like what you say. Really that is no way to treat your caveman guests. If he become a Panamanian citizen could this caveman then have an opinion?

    • Talking about cavemen: Martinelli’s presidential guard arrested two women for kissing in public, submitted them to huimiliating body searches, and when the two refused to sign a statement releasing these goons of any responsibility they were held for hours and given a warning by some kangaroo judge.

      The message is that if you’re a consul with political connections through family and otherwise, you can show that you’re an ignorant twit (the Miami case), push your employer’s cheap rum and go out cross dressing for your country and nothing will happen to you. But two girlfriends, none of them being public figures, giving each other a kiss – take them away! So who are the cavemen here?

  7. This seems to be a competition of who in the consular service can really screw up. First it was the case of the vice-consul of Panama in Miami being escorted out of an apartment in Miami by the police (http://www.elcuara.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3056:video-de-la-chechi-que-fue-arrestada-en-miami-&catid=3:para-ellos&Itemid=8). This is a 22 year old kid. Next the “history lesson” from the consul in Miami. And now the consul in the Canary Islands in his lovely dress. I just shiver at the thought of what is going to top this.

  8. I agree with Exiled Brit. So many men in drag do not understand that “less is more” and that a simple black cocktail dress with a basic black pump would have caused less controversy. Fashion is a real bitch, ain’t it?

  9. I in deep thought I have come to the conclucion that La Pananena is a trasvesti,or gay herself. The truth of the matter is that, the country of Panama as beatifull as she is. Has in mayority and because the nature of the beast ( La politica ) I,m sorry to say has in high positions people who do not have a clue as to what is espected of them,as representatives of Panama, or any nation for that matter they are only in it for themself. As is all politicians everry where, most not all but most. And by the way If he is going in drag please shave nobody likes a bearded woman.The black dress and maching pumps suits me fine.

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