Will "Techos de Esperanza" save the president from the scandal?

Will " Techos de Esperanza" save the president from the scandal?
  • Will " Techos de Esperanza" save the president from the scandal?
  • Telemetro

PANAMA CITY.- After the scandal of last week with the accusations of Fonseca to Juan Carlos Varela, his popularity so low, the credibility of the president is on the ground and not even his project " Techos de Esperanza" will help him to recover the credibility under the eyes of the population.

Many critics have been registered on social networks on the "populist" speech - as it has been cataloged  by the Panamanians - of President Juan Carlos Varela on the delivery of at least "100 thousand free houses" of the program "Techos de Esperanza” (Roofs of Hope) for the people.

The uncertainty has been generated among the population because after the announcement on the 100 thousand free houses, it was known that this number will not be more than 70 thousand homes and are not totally free in some cases, according to local newspaper Panama America.

But in a statement issued by the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning, the houses "do not represent any cost to the beneficiary, and the Miviot staff does not charge any paperwork, nor documents in the same communities."

Although in May 2016 the Head of State denied having promised "free houses" for the citizens, this time he ignored those assertions and implemented the plan whose funds will come from the contributions of the Panama Canal.

"No President has the constitutional power to condone a commitment that comes from the Mortgage Bank with people," said the national president when asked about rumors on the fact that in the campaign he promised free housing. "That's totally false," he said.

But this plan does not seem to raise Varela's popularity numbers. According to data from the latest survey by Dichter & Neira Panamá published at the end of January, 12% believe that there is transparency in this government, against 85% who claim that it is not lacking in clarity. The data contrast with what was announced by the Government.


Reactions like those of the political commentator Juan Carlos Tapia have generated matrix of opinion in the isthmus since he consider that the president goes by a "worse way".

"Do not promise funds that are not yours to the people, do not do as Maduro," said Tapia.

Users have compared this initiative to deliver housing projects with the policies used by the governments of Hugo Chávez, Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and Rafael Correa in Ecuador. However, it should be noted that this measure has also raised controversy in these countries.

The journalist and lawyer Lionel Blaisdell referred to the project used by President Varela and contrasted the situation with that of the Venezuelan Government.

"Do you think a rightist President @JC_Varela can interact ideological design @PartidoPSUV Panama 100 thousand free houses," he wrote through his account on the social network Twitter, and also posted another message that this plan is a "socialist chavista model”.

Will this decision be the beginning of a pre-election campaign? The political agenda of the President should focus on some other announcement in another opportunity about the project “Techos de Esperanza” for the people.

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