US Wants Panama Congress Chair Out
Panama, Sep 11 2007 (Prensa Latina) — The US, with support from Panamanian political and economic circles, is stepping up pressure to remove Parliament Chairman Pedro Miguel Gonzalez, who it claims killed a US marine.
The latest US attempt came through Trade Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, who on arriving in Panama with a Congressional delegation, said he hoped the State Department would remove Gonzalez so the case wouldn’t block approval of a free trade agreement with Panama.
Panama’s Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry will meet with Gonzalez to expose objections to his staying in office.
The greatest beneficiaries of the US devised FTA try to link their interests to Panama’s to dodge criticism of US interference and prevent Gonzalez from blocking the free trade agreement approval.
Gonzalez was acquitted and elected by 50 out of 77 votes of the National Assembly, in open challenge to US pressures and disappointment.