Panama rejects the European Commission proposal that includes the country in a high risk list

The Government of the Republic of Panama strongly rejects the proposal of the European Commission to include the country in a list of jurisdictions of high-risk third countries with strategic deficiencies in their anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing frameworks.

Considering that the publication issued today by the European Commission must be submitted to the European Parliament for approval within a period of one month, the Government of Panama will continue its efforts to establish a communication channel to clarify the concerns of the European Commission.

Thus, the country reiterates the call to establish a frank and continuous dialogue, which values the commitment and dedication of Panama in the adaptation of its legislation and financial platform, to avoid money laundering and the financing of illegal acts.

While this communication channel is established, the Panamanian Government will call the Representative of Panama before the European Union, Ambassador Miguel Verzbolovskis, for consultations and will establish a period of 30 days to announce additional steps.

For Panama, the process carried out by this European body in preparation of the list has been opaque, since no interaction was done with Panama as the third party subject to analysis.

Despite enormous efforts from its Embassy and Representation before the European Union in Brussels and official visits from high authorities, Panama was not given the opportunity to inform or respond on the actions taken in legislation and practice, to address any deficiency perceived by the Commission.

In addition, the inclusion is not consistent with the close bilateral and commercial relationship that Panama maintains with this regional bloc, nor with the great advances our nation has made in terms of strengthening and modernizing its financial platform and international services, governed today by robust legislation. and adequate to the highest standards, recognized by institutions such as the Financial Action Group of Latin America (GAFILAT) and the Global Forum of Transparency and Exchange of Information of the OECD.

Panama urges the European Commission to reconsider the unjust action taken against a country with a clear commitment to fight money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

Panama Promotes Scientific Work for Inclusive Development

The Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, visited the headquarters of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), with the purpose of creating an alliance that allows collaboration to be maintained among the scientific community and national institutions.

Accompanied by Carmenza, Spadafora from INDICASAT, Claudia Guerrero from Senacyt, and José Fábrega from the UTP, the Vice President shared the role of the State in identifying relationships that relate to economic growth, human rights and more inclusive development. And in this line, she added, science plays a crucial role.

The Executive Director of AAAS, Rush Holt, offered the experience of the organization for this purpose, including training of foreign policy personnel. He offered tools to serve as a platform to promote scientific work in Panama.

In addition, the Panamanian diplomatic leadership expressed its interest in having the science, technology and innovation achievements of Panama be reflected in international publications. Finally, she recognized that the private sector could play a more active role by investing in scientific research that benefits the country. She proposed to learn more about the experience of the United States and other countries in which these type of partnerships have worked.

This Thursday culminated the work agenda of the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs in Washington, DC, which served to strengthen the historic relationship between Panama and the United States, and has been an important impetus to the strategy of Scientific Diplomacy, Technology and Innovation.

Panama recognizes Juan Guaido as the Interim President of Venezuela

The government of the Republic of Panama expresses its recognition of the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó as President Interim of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

Likewise, it is expected that a peaceful process of democratic transition will be fulfilled, with the equitable participation of all political actors.

Panama is a country that promotes dialogue and peace, it rejects any type of violence and repression that attack the rights of Venezuelans and the security of this South American country and the region. Therefore, we reiterate the urgency of finding a peaceful solution to the social, political and economic crisis.

Panama and Lima Group Declaration

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay and Peru express the following:

  1. They recognize and express their full support to the President of the National Assembly, Juan Guaidó, who has assumed the position as President Interim of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in compliance with the constitutional norms and the illegitimacy of the Nicolás Maduro regime.

  2. They support the beginning of the process of democratic transition in Venezuela within the framework of its Constitution, in order to hold new elections, in the shortest time, with the participation of all political actors and with the international guarantees and standards necessary for a democratic process .

  3. They condemn the acts of violence that occurred in Venezuela and urge that the rule of law, the fundamental rights of the people and social peace be guaranteed, while the government's transition takes place.

  4. They confirm their decision to continue firmly supporting the recovery of democracy in Venezuela.


Panama and the Lima Group condemn the arrest of National Assembly President, Mr. Juan Guaido

The Governments of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, declare the following after the serious events that ocurred in Venezuela this morning:

  1. They condemn the arbitrary detention of deputy Juan Guaido, President of the National Assembly of Venezuela, by the Bolivarian National Intelligence Service (SEBIN) that occurred the morning of today.

  2. They express their strongest rejection of any action that affects the physical integrity of the members of the National Assembly of Venezuela, their families and collaborators, and any pressure or coercion that prevents the full and normal exercise of their powers as a constitutional body and legitimately elected in Venezuela.

Original Statement in Spanish here:

Panama and the Lima Group reiterate their position on Venezuela

Faced with the start of the January 10th, 2019 start of the illegitimate presidential period of the Nicolas Maduro regime, the government of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Saint Lucia, express the following:

  1. They reiterate that the elections that took place in Venezuela on May 20, 2018 are illegitimate because they did not count with the participation of all the Venezuelan political actors, nor the presence of independent international observers, nor the the international standards and guarantees necessary for a free, fair and transparent process. Consequently, the governments do not recognize the legitimacy of the new presidential period of the Nicolas Maduro regime that begins on January 10th, 2019.

  2. They reaffirm their support and recognition of the National Assembly, which was legitimately elected on December 6, 2015, as the democratically elected constitutional body in Venezuela.

  3. They urge Nicolas Maduro to not assume the presidency on January 10, 2019, respect the attributions of the National Assembly, and to transfer it executive power in a provisional manner until new democratic presidential elections can take place.

  4. They highlight the importance of respect for the integrity, autonomy and independence of the Supreme Court of Justice legitimately conformed, in accordance with the Venezuelan Constitution, for the full exercise of the rule of law in that country.

  5. They reaffirm their unequivocal and firm condemnation of the rupture of the constitutional order and of the Rule of Law in Venezuela, emphasizing that only through the full restoration of democracy and respect for human rights, can the causes of the political, economic, social and humanitarian crisis that the country is going through be addressed.

  6. They express their conviction that the solution to the political crisis in Venezuela corresponds to Venezuelans and, therefore, reiterate their permanent determination to support political and diplomatic initiatives that lead to the restoration of constitutional order, democracy and the rule of law in that country, through the celebration of a new electoral process with democratic guarantees.

  7. They express their determination to continue promoting initiatives in multilateral forums, particularly in the Organization of American States and the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, in order to contribute to the restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights in Venezuela.

  8. They call on all OAS member countries to reaffirm their support for the OAS Charter and the Inter-American Democratic Charter, in order to contribute to the restoration of democratic order in Venezuela.

  9. They condemn any provocation or military deployment that threatens peace and security in the region. They call on the regime of Nicolás Maduro and the Venezuelan Armed Forces to desist from actions that violate the sovereign rights of their neighbors. In that sense, they express their deep concern over the interception carried out on December 22, 2018, of a seismic research vessel by the Venezuelan Navy within the exclusive economic zone of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana.

  10. They reiterate their deep concern over the serious political and humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, which has generated a massive exodus of migrants and asylum seekers from that country, as a result of the anti-democratic, oppressive and dictatorial acts and policies practiced by the Nicolás Maduro regime, which can only be resolved through the full restoration of democratic order and respect for human rights. They also renew their commitment, to the extent of their possibilities, to continue providing assistance to migrants from Venezuela, as well as to promote and develop regional coordination initiatives in response to this crisis. In this regard, they welcome the inclusion for the first time of the crisis of migrants and refugees from Venezuela in the UN Global Humanitarian Appeal for 2019, as well as the appointment of the joint representative of IOM and UNHCR.

  11. They express their concern for the impact that the crisis in Venezuela has had on the economy and security of countries in the region.

  12. They urge the Venezuelan regime to allow the immediate entry of humanitarian assistance for the people of Venezuela, in order to prevent the aggravation of the humanitarian and public health crisis in that country and its transnational effects.

They agree on the following measures:

  1. To reassess the status or level of diplomatic relations with Venezuela, based on the restoration of democracy and constitutional order in that country, and the need to protect their nationals and interests.

  2. As allowed by their domestic laws, to prevent the high officials of the Venezuelan regime from entering the territory of the countries of the Lima Group; prepare lists of natural and legal persons with which financial and banking entities of their countries should not operate or should have special due diligence, prevent their access to the financial system and, if necessary, freeze their funds and other assets or economic resources.

  3. To evaluate with restrictive criteria the granting of loans to the Nicolás Maduro regime in the international and regional financial organizations of which they are a part of.

  4. To suspend military cooperation with the Nicolás Maduro regime, including the transfer of arms in light of Articles 6 and 7 of the Arms Trade Treaty, as well as assess the overflight permits of Venezuelan military aircraft in cases of humanitarian assistance.

  5. Intensify contact with countries not members of the Lima Group in order to keep them informed of the actions of the Group, of the seriousness of the situation in Venezuela and of the need to work together for the restoration of democracy in that country.

  6. In relation to the request presented by Argentina, Canada, Colombia, Chile, Paraguay and Peru to the International Criminal Court to investigate the commission of possible crimes against humanity in Venezuela, urge other countries to support it and the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to move quickly in the corresponding procedures.

  7. Urge other members of the international community to adopt measures similar to those agreed by the Lima Group against the Nicolás Maduro regime for the restoration of democracy.

Original full statement in spanish here:



During the Inauguration of the Regional Logistic Center for Humanitarian assistance, the Vice President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Isabel de Saint Malo de Alvarado, led the High Level Dialogue of Countries of the Americas on "Unified Actions of Good Governance to Face the Regional Challenges of Humanitarian Aid".

The Vice Minister of Multilateral Affairs and International Cooperation, María Luisa Navarro, presented the origin and development of this initiative that today became a reality. It is a center for the collection and distribution of humanitarian aid that will allow necessary help to reach places affected by any humanitarian emergency in the shortest time possible.

Representatives of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); of the United Nations Humanitarian Response Deposit, both as international users, and the national civil protection system, (SINAPROC) valued this contribution from Panama as a timely and effective response for the coordination of the delivery of aid and the rescue of victims of catastrophes.  The center will be used to coordinate the cooperation that the countries receive, and will be used as the base from which the aid will be transferred to the international community. 

In addition, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Aid (OCHA) led an open dialogue in which participants from different countries and regional organizations such as the Mesoamerica Project, the Central American Integration System and the Association of Caribbean States, praised Panama for placing itself at the center of international humanitarian aid.

To conclude the Vice President and Foreign Minister reiterated her gratitude to the countries and international organizations that contributed to the creation of the Regional Logistics Center for Humanitarian Assistance in Panama. Panama offers to the world its geostrategic position, air, maritime and terrestrial connectivity, its dynamic logistics industry and its historical vocation as a country at the service of the world in developing this important initiative, a first of its kind in America.


Panama and the U.S. Sign Maritime Transportation Agreement

Panama’s Minister of Maritime Affairs Jorge Barakat and the United States’ Maritime Authority Administration (MARAD)’s Admiral Mark. H. Buzby, have inked a major maritime transport co-operation agreement in Washington D.C.