“Solomon Shamah Will Remain As The Minister of Tourism”

Martinelli: “Solomon Shamah Will Remain As The Minister of Tourism”

Wednesday, June 29 2011 @ 09:27 AM COT
Contributed by: Don Winner
Views: 63
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com – This morning the President of Panama, Ricardo Martinelli, gave a long and exclusive interview on the channel 13 Telemetro news broadcast, on the eve of the second anniversary of his coming to power. During the interview Telemetro journalist Alvaro Alvarado asked Martinelli about the widely announced and anticipated “changes to the cabinet” expected to take place this Friday, 1 July 2011. When specifically asked about Panama’s Minister of Tourism, Solomon Shamah, Martinelli said he had received “a stack” of letters of support from hotel owners and businessmen for Shamah. He refused to fire Shamah based on a “Wikileaks” report, which he described as being full of incorrect information, rumors, and innuendo. With regards to reports that the United States has revoked Shamah’s visa to travel to the United States, Martinelli said “having a visa to travel to the United State’s cannot be a prerequisite” to serve in his administration. He pointed out that this year, for the first time, Panama will have received more than 2 million tourists, and he directly credited Shamah for much of that increase. In the end, he flatly said “Shamah is staying” in his position as the Minister of Tourism, putting an end to speculation about this particular change in this cabinet. He went further and said “if anyone can prove, with documents and evidence” that Shamah has been involved in any type of criminal activity, then they should come forward and present that evidence. And he said “if there were charges or some kind of an indictment” against Shamah in the United States, “then that would be another matter…”

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