EFE | 10 December 2008
Condoleezza Rice visit to Panama sparks protest in capital
PANAMA CITY - A visit by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sparked protest yesterday in the streets by opponents of free trade with the North American giant, a subject Rice is set to discuss here in a conference today.
Protesters temporarily blocked a major avenue and burned dolls and signs to protest a free-trade pact signed by Panama and the United States in 2007.
Rice is here to participate in the Pathways to Prosperity Ministerial meeting.
“President Bush and leaders of 11 Western Hemisphere countries launched the Pathways initiative on Sept. 24, 2008, to ensure that the benefits of trade more broadly reach all of our citizens,” according to the U.S. Department of State’s Web site.
This is Rice’s second official visit to Panama after a trip last May to participate in the General Assembly of the Organization of American States.