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US Ambassador John Feeley Cites Personal Reasons For Retirement


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US Ambassdor cites personal reasons for retirement

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John Feeley, US marine and diplomat
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JOHN FEELEY, the outspoken United States Ambassador to Panama,  has announced his decision to retire for personal reasons.

The surprise decision came in an official statement from the US Embassy on Thursday, January  11.

His last day in office will be on  Friday, March 9.

Consular chief  Roxanne Cabral will assume the leadership of the embassy y, reports TVN

Feeley took office on December 9, 2015, under the presidency of Barack Obama.

During his occupancy of the post, he pronounced himself an ally of the government in the fight against corruption  Feeley also spoke out during the Waked case, stating that the newspapers La Estrella de Panamá and El Siglo had no relation to the alleged case of money laundering and drug trafficking by the Waked conglomerate.

Feeley has spent 35 years in public service, first as an officer and helicopter pilot in the US Marine Corps and as a  career diplomat in the State Department.with most of his focus on Latin America and the Caribbean.

The diplomat has reported his retirement to the  White House and to Panama  President, Juan Carlos Varela and   Chancellor Isabel Saint Malo de Alvarado.

 

http://www.newsroompanama.com/news/panama/us-ambassdor-cites-personal-reasons-retirement

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  • Moderator_02 changed the title to US Ambassador John Feeley Cites Personal Reasons For Retirement

1. IT BEGINS

4 hours ago

U.S. Ambassador to Panama Quits, Says He Cannot Serve Trum

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Reuters/Eliana Aponte

The U.S. ambassador to Panama resigned “on principle,” noting that he cannot serve under the current administration any longer. John D. Feeley has served as ambassador to Panama since Dec. 9, 2015, after being nominated by President Obama. “As a junior foreign service officer, I signed an oath to serve faithfully the President and his administration in an apolitical fashion, even when I might not agree with certain policies,” Feeley said in a statement. “My instructors made clear that if I believed I could not do that, I would be honor-bound to resign. That time has come.” The State Department reportedly confirmed Feeley’s departure but said he decided to “retire for personal reasons, as of March 9 this year.” According to the Associated Press, Feeley’s resignation came before Trump referred to several poor countries as “shitholes,” as the announcement was on the State Department’s website prior to the Thursday remarks.

1. IT BEGINS

4 hours ago
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Good for Feeley for honoring his conscience.  Down on the ground, here in Panama, there are some consequences for US expats to the Trump "shithole" doctrine (even though it was only verbalized publicly yesterday).  For me it has meant that my Panamanian girlfriend / partner (who will join me in Boquete in a few days) has been denied a travel visa to the U.S.  We had planned a 10-14 day trip to introduce her to my family and friends, but that trip now won't happen.

After paying the fee and submitting the required documents she was "awarded" an interview with a U.S. representative.  And in spite of the fact that she had previously had a 10 year U.S. visa when her work required U.S. travel, and that she owns her home in Panama City, and that her son and three grandchildren all reside in Panama, the visa was denied apparently because she (African descended by the way) was deemed a risk to stay in the US beyond our travel plan.  Apparently the interviewer said something to the effect that once she and I boarded a flight, either or both could fall in love with some other person and that she was therefore a risk too great for US entry.

In the frame of reference of so many other much more important issues going on in the world. she and I will easily survive this situation.  But for those of you who find important relationships in Panama, don't count on being able to share them with your US bound loved ones.

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It always seemed strange to me that this guy (the Ambassador) wrote a monthly column for the online Escape Artist magazine based in Panama. He would give highly complicated investment and tax advice to people. Much of it was based on avoiding US tax. Now, I don't think it's either a sin or a crime to pay the least tax possible, it just seemed a little unseemly for our ambassador to be giving such advice.

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Jonathan Farrar was Ambassador to Republic of Panama 2012-2015. He and his wife Terry visited Boquete several times and were refreshingly open to talking with people.

Hopefully Panama will get another great Ambassador like Mr. Farrar.

 

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4 hours ago, Penny said:

It always seemed strange to me that this guy (the Ambassador) wrote a monthly column for the online Escape Artist magazine based in Panama. He would give highly complicated investment and tax advice to people. Much of it was based on avoiding US tax. Now, I don't think it's either a sin or a crime to pay the least tax possible, it just seemed a little unseemly for our ambassador to be giving such advice.

I had never heard about this, and I couldn’t believe it would be allowed, so I Googled it but found nothing. A search of the Escape Artist site itself revealed that a former Ambassador Joel Nagel (not a diplomat to Panama at any time) offers or offered advice, but Ambassador Feeley’s name doesn’t come up. Could this be what you saw, Penny?

it surprises me that even a former ambassador would do this, and I’m reasonably confident that a sitting ambassador giving advice of the nature described would be in violation of federal conflict of interest law.

Edited by Bonnie
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38 minutes ago, Penny said:

You're right. It wasn't the current Panama ambassador. Escape Artist lead you to believe it was. I was fooled.

Just to be clear, it wasn't the current U.S. Ambassador to Panama (John Feeley) or any other U.S. diplomat associated with Panama. Joel Nagel is described by Escape Artist as an "International Attorney" who formerly served as Ambassador to Austria, Croatia, and Slovenia, as well as the United Nations offices in Vienna. Notably, it doesn't say which country he represented as an Ambassador, but it certainly wasn't the U.S. and it certainly wasn't in Panama. If you search online, you will find that he is a major developer in Latin America, an authority on "international banking," and was Belize's ambassador to Austria before being kicked out by the Austrian government for paying more attention to his personal financial aims than to his duty to Belizean diplomacy. [http://amandala.com.bz/news/austrian-government-kicks-belize-ambassador-joel-nagel/]  Various Internet sites paint him as a shady character at best, and it doesn't speak well for Escape Artist to have hired him.  More hucksterism from these publications. But there's nothing to suggest that Nagel had any association with Panama, and Ambassador Feeley certainly wouldn't appreciate being confused with him.

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  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, Marcelyn said:

I believe today (March 9) is the date Ambassador John Feeley is leaving his post as Ambassador to the Republic of Panama.

His replacement?

Not likely to happen any time soon. There are vacant U.S. Ambassadorships all over the world. I don't know who will be in charge.

Edited by Bonnie
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18 minutes ago, Bonnie said:

We enjoyed knowing and working with Jonathan Farrar when he was Ambassador to the Republic of Panama 2012 - 2015. Could we be this lucky again?

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43 minutes ago, Bonnie said:

 

Bonnie,

 

What I find interesting is that the country specific travel ban that Feeley refers to that President Trump issued was word for word a copy of former President Obama's travel ban.  The media did come clean on this simple fact but stated that President Trump had "negative intent" with the ban.  The power of the media.  That's like an auto dealership denying selling you a car because they think that you have negative intent and might run someone over.

 

 

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No matter what the reasons are that prompted the Ambassador's exit, they're newsworthy imo, as Panama was his last post.

Getting into the details of U.S. travel bans, on the other hand, appears to me like just another veiled attempt to bring American political discussions into the Forum.

Edited by Keith Woolford
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2 hours ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

 

Bonnie,

 

What I find interesting is that the country specific travel ban that Feeley refers to that President Trump issued was word for word a copy of former President Obama's travel ban.  The media did come clean on this simple fact but stated that President Trump had "negative intent" with the ban.  The power of the media.  That's like an auto dealership denying selling you a car because they think that you have negative intent and might run someone over.

 

 

This wasn't meant to start a political discussion but only to follow up on Ambassador Feeley's leaving.

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11 hours ago, Bonnie said:

This wasn't meant to start a political discussion but only to follow up on Ambassador Feeley's leaving.

 

Bonnie,

 

I wasn't either.  But I found it odd that Ambassador Feeley stated in this article that he couldn't work under the current president due to his travel ban yet this travel ban is a copy of the previous president's travel ban.  It would be nice if he provided clarification.   

 

 

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38 minutes ago, Siempre Soluciones said:

 

Bonnie,

 

I wasn't either.  But I found it odd that Ambassador Feeley stated in this article that he couldn't work under the current president due to his travel ban yet this travel ban is a copy of the previous president's travel ban.  It would be nice if he provided clarification.   

 

 

This is not true, but I am private messaging you a response.

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I attended a Boquete Library meeting where Mr. Feeley was speaker.  I recall hearing several comments of “I don’t know” “I”ll have to get back to you on that”. Then he announced he had another meeting and asked staff members to answer questions from the audience.

His performance caused raised eye brows from some people in the room and negative remarks by others.

But perhaps Mr. Feeley spoke many times at the Library. I was present only one time.

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I was there as well and recall the same comments " “I don’t know” “I”ll have to get back to you on that”. There were several folks asking him questions about problems they were having with getting their fingerprints for the FBI report. I thought his answer to them was a bit evasive. I was not too impressed with his overall engagement with the folks in attendance. Felt more like a PR event.

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I didn't fully realize until I became a U.S. warden that there is a difference between the Ambassador and the Consul General of an Embassy. Although the titular head of the Embassy, the Ambassador serves as a chief representative of one country to another, i.e., in the upper realms of international diplomacy. A Consul, on the other hand, serves to  assist and protect the citizens of the consul's own country. As the Ambassador works primarily with the heads of state of the other country, it may be unreasonable to expect him to have at his fingertips answers to expat questions.

This leads me to wonder why the Consul General or the head of Citizen Services is not made available for citizen meetings of this type. The new Consul spoke the last time the Embassy visited Boquete, and she fully answered all questions asked. I and other Chiriqui wardens lunched with her afterward, and I found her to be up-to-date and knowledgeable about expat issues.

Edited by Bonnie
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