Mon, Jun 19, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Former Panama rep says he regrets staying quiet

Staff writer, with CNA

Former Panamanian ambassador to Taiwan Alfredo Martiz Fuentes yesterday expressed regret at not speaking out more when Panama on Tuesday severed ties with the nation and voiced his affection for Taiwanese.

While Taiwan received little warning of the shift to Beijing, there were signs of Panama’s consideration, including when it did not send a new ambassador after Martiz on April 30 left to take over as his nation’s head of social security.

In a letter linked on Twitter, Martiz said he was at fault for not raising his voice when learning of the severance.

“Owing to the diplomatic circumstances between my country and the Republic of China [Taiwan], I have to acknowledge a sole fault: not having raised my voice when I realized the breaking of diplomatic relations between both countries due to the impact of the news and the pain it causes me to leave such fond and happy memories,” he wrote.

However, he refused to pass judgement on his nation’s decision, because “it is not my duty to do so.”

However, he also added that the “human effort that enriched my diplomatic undertaking” has become “permanently clouded by the shadow” of Panama’s decision.

Martiz, who served as ambassador for two-and-a-half years, also directly addressed the people and government of the nation.

“To the people of Taiwan, my deep appreciation and permanent affection. To its government, my commitment remains as strong as ever, I shall become a bridge and a means as interlocutor,” Martiz wrote.

Panama’s decision has left Taiwan with 20 diplomatic allies, more than half of whom are in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

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