The report by the State Department about drug trafficking and money laundering is already generating lots of controversy, even though it doesn't say anything new. Venezuela is angry, and Bolivia hasn't even responded to the drivel so far Bolivia has also rejected the worthless report.
And the Panamanians? They see it as an opportunity to squeeze money out of the US, of course!
La Prensa quotes Minister of the Presidency Jimmy Papadimitriu saying that if Panama's democracy is really under threat from drug trafficking, the gringos should draw their wallet and pay up. A sort of "Okay, we suck. Give us money and maybe we'll suck less".
Billions of dollars have been given to Plan Colombia, and even more billions to Mexico's "Plan Merida", said a disgruntled Papadimitriu. So now he also wants billions so that Panama too can have a plan that doesn't work, with real soldiers!
We suggest that, if the US falls for this shake-down and indeed throws money at Panama, it is managed by a private interest foundation. We hear the name "Mar del Sur" might soon be available again.
UPDATE: Would the 1.6% growth of our banking sector last year, supposedly due to "increased cash deposits", have something to do with our designation as a top money laundering haven by US State Dept., you think?