Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Donald Trump was declared "persona non grata" in Panama

donald trump persona non grata panama

US real estate tycoon Donald Trump was declared "persona non grata" in Panama by the municipal council of Panama City following his remarks allegedly made about the Panama Canal.

“We unanimously approved a resolution that declared Donald Trump persona non grata,” Javier Ortega, a member of the council, told AFP Friday.

“I think it was a political stupidity on the part of Donald Trump,” said Panamanian Commerce and Industry Minister Roberto Henriquez. “Somebody who has 400 million dollars invested in Panama should not speak this way” he added.

In order to clear what Donald Trump said was a misunderstanding, Panama’s leading newspaper La Prensa interviewed the mogul about the matter:

“All my comments have been respectful of Panamanians, for the excellent deal they closed. My comment was critical of our politicians, ambassadors and negotiators. I do not blame Panama … U.S. negotiators, led by Jimmy Carter, did an extremely poor job….The lack of bargaining power of our representatives, what has brought America to where it is.”

“And what kind of agreements will be signed with countries like Panama? Will the U.S. aim to give them fair treatment?"

“Look, I love Panama. I have great respect for Panama and that began in 2003. One of the best Miss Universe contests we had was the Panama Canal. On that occasion I spent much time there and I know the country and developed respect for Panama and the bargain they made with respect to the Canal. That’s positive. On the other hand, the U.S. has made unfavorable arrangements around the world and it’s no longer the country it was. We are talking about another ball game.“

“Panamanians believe that treaties signed by Panama and the United States were always more in your gavor than otherwise. The political and military cost of not delivering the Canal would have been high, given the growing intolerance of the colonial enclave.
“I insist that, if we had had better negotiators, the United States could have achieved a better deal for their interests, on the other hand, the reason we built this building in Panama, is the deal.

“Then it will be better to have you as an investment partner and not as political counterpart?
I do not know. For now, I can only say that my relationship with Panama and many friends in Panama is outstanding and that, having chosen Panama as the first location to invest in that part of the world, and the desire to return the Miss Universe pageant beyond are due to this respect. Currently there are 18 countries seeking to host the contest”

Trump, who called the whole issue a “misunderstanding”, is due to arrive in Panama during August for the inauguration of the Trump Ocean Club, a 70-story resort/apartment building in the wealthy area of Punta Pacifica, in Panama City.


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