This, of course, is a cover of a Norwegian thing, but a Panamanian cover with Monalisa Arias and friends
People get ready to party hard before getting down to some hard choices
As these words are written it’s the Thursday afternoon before Carnival starts and I am having problems with the website and on my low budget planning to limit my party activities to the Antillean Fair, which is on Carnival Saturday and Sunday at ATLAPA. It’s a family-oriented thing, mostly, with food stand to make any Colon buay’s mouth water. Plus, the queens at the Antillean Fair are generally much foxier than the official queen of the government’s celebrations out on the Cinta Costera. That’s a generally demographic issue: if you go by the rabiblanco ad cartel’s and modeling agencies’ “white is beautiful and those of you who aren’t therefore aren’t” standard, the less than 10 percent white minority is just outnumbered by the black population. The distribution of foxy young ladies being about equal among the various races on this planet, there are more beautiful black women in Panama than beautiful white women. In any case, this is one of those exceptional years. This year, the official Carnival has the ultra-foxy Afro-descendant María de Lourdes Gallimore as its queen.
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I need a new camera.
I need to pay some bills to keep The Panama News online.
I have myself, a loyal dog and a vicious kung fu attack cat to support.
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Ever onward to bigger and better things, folks! But these things do take resources.
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What?! It’s Carnaval and música típica isn’t up at the top? Actually, on most Carnival stages the hip hop stuff will dominate the national cumbia and tamborito traditions. But THIS old buzzard does have an appreciation for the good stuff from Panamanian culture that dates back before regueton, and actually before rap and even before reggae, and which lives on to this day and will out into the future:
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I have mixed feelings about what is going on in Venezuela, but not THAT mixed.
I am for freedom, including freedom of the press, and thus I have to be critical of some of the things that the Maduro government does. I recognize NTN24 — which we used to have in Panama under the name of RCN until Ricardo Martinelli bought it — as the wannabe Fox News of a Colombian billionaire with Álvaro Uribe’s death squad politics. You broadcast Uribe’s appeals to oust the elected president of Venezuela and it should not be surprising if you get taken off the air in Venezuela. It’s different with CNN, although I can understand why Maduro is annoyed by that network’s US corporate narrative about his country. He should not have thrown Patricia Janiot and her crew out of the country. And by the way, the first media person shot in the recent disturbances in Caracas was Mayra Cienfuegos, of VTN. The crazies on the fringe of the opposition attacked that state-owned television station with rocks, molotov cocktails and gunfire, sending Cienfuegos to the emergency room with a gunshot wound that turned out not to be life-threatening. How come Mayra’s story doesn’t get told in the US mainstream media? How come the people who shot her get hailed as “freedom fighters” by the Cuban-American Republicans in the halls of the US Congress?
I am for democracy, including the right of a democracy to defend itself. Maduro leaves much to be desired with some of the things he says and his currency export control policies (now in the process of being modified) have made some hard times harder. But when a faction of the people who lost the last 18 elections, including the municipal elections in December where the Chavistas got about 60 percent of the vote, take to the streets to force the president to resign, that’s a coup attempt. If the opposition has the votes, Venezuela has recall elections. That the opposition is not out there petitioning to recall Maduro says something about the true situation in Venezuela, I would think.
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MY generation of folks who were born Colon grew up on a certain sort of music:
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The other day there was a big fire on the slopes of El Valle’s India Dormida. Was THAT why I smelled a fire may miles downhill in San Carlos, but couldn’t see where it was? It’s pretty deforested up there, so more of a brush fire than a forest fire, but still a hit to one of the area’s tourism and recreation assets.
It goes to demonstrate two things about Panama’s dry season: the wind blows steadily out of the north and it’s burning season.
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There have been maddening off-and-on problems, mostly in Panama, with downloading The Panama News. As it most directly affects me, these have been problems uploading new things because I have not been able to get into the website. I am still trying to figure out what the problem is.
The Panama News has been taken offline from time to time from things ranging from my own bad moves to malicious bots from China. It’s a very heated political season and one of the reasons why I have put so much emphasis on the Facebook page that is an extension of The Panama News is precisely to make it harder for anybody or anything to shut this publication down. I try my best to keep the settings so that a person need not be my “Facebook friend” to see the things I post there, which include the contents of this website and a great deal more.
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Kids from Colon these days? Down here they prefer stuff like THIS, by one the hometown heroes:
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In a Panamanian election year, Carnival is this interlude, after which people start settling into particular trends about how they will vote for president. That does not mean that the person who’s ahead the week after Carnival is going to win, but it often means that the momentum up and down at that time will define the rest of the race. It is looking like a contest between the PRD’s Juan Carlos Navarro and Martinelli’s proxy slate of JD Arias and Mrs. Martinelli for the presidency. Usually the legislative and local races get defined the week before the election.
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Disease becomes an issue this Carnival season. Because the trash has not been picked up, in many places mosquitoes are breeding in little bits of water found in bottles and cans discarded by the side of the road, old tires and other refuse. These mosquitoes spread dengue fever. Is somebody looking for a high-tech “quick fix?” Enough of that lazy, servile thinking. The solution is well known. Don’t litter. Enforce the laws against those who do. Get the garbage picked up and properly disposed of in a prompt and regular fashion.
And then there is AIDS. It may not be as terrifying as it was a few years ago, when there were no anti-retroviral drugs to keep it at bay, but a lot of people still die from it and it is preventable. Wise up, all you Carnival revelers! Heed the advice of the queen of Las Tablas’s Calle Abajo: