Ruben Blades: the Same Old Politicians Encouraging Chaos

According to Blades, money isn’t enough to solve people’s demands. Archive photo

The “Patria” artist asked, how is it possible that the same old politicians are in the running for the 2024 presidential election in Panama?

By Manuel Vega Loo (La Prensa)

HAVANA TIMES – Singer-songwriter and former presidential candidate Ruben Blades wrote that the same-old politicians are promoting public chaos, in his “Reflections on the current situation in Panama”, published on Monday July 18th.

According to Blades, these “same old [politicians] and ill-gotten money” subsidize the chaos with the intention “of improving their chances at the polls” or “to detract public attention away from a recent report on corruption.”

“Protests and public disorder in Panama are not an example of the rage of a people who are tired of being abused by their leaders, nor are they an expression of citizens being fed up and criticizing political corruption,” the Patria singer said.

Another point he raises in this document, published on July 18th, is that the Panamanian population haven’t demanded what it is they really need: “replacing corruption and the old-fashioned political paradigm that is destroying us morally and economically.”

Blades reminded readers that he is not exaggerating and asked “honest” people in his homeland, how is it possible that the same old politicians are in the running for the 2024 presidential election in Panama?”

“I ask the honest people, why are protests in Panama not geared towards eliminating the system of clientalism, corruption and outdated administrative/party structures they govern?”

The artist with many awards under his belt, including a Grammy, said that he made a public statement late, in the futile “hope” that the contradiction that is fueling these protests is cleared up. “I see that this won’t happen and so here’s my opinion, knowing that it may provoke the rejection of those who mistakingly call what has happened a display of virtue and civil awakening.”

According to Blades, money isn’t enough to meet protestors’ demands, “as the problem we’re facing in Panama is structural, and not temporary. Even though it’s a complex matter, what the groups are proposing as a solution is mission impossible: ordering an omelet without breaking any eggs.”

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