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Juan Carlos Varela

Panama opens embassy in China after cutting Taiwan ties

BEIJING: Panama opened its first embassy in China on Thursday five months after cutting ties with Taiwan, which has seen its allies dwindle against the mainland's growing influence. In a speech heralding the embassy's "historic" establishment, Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela said his "commitment to the One China principle" was made with the benefits for Panamanian people in mind -- alluding to Beijing's position that Taiwan is a part of Chinese territory and will be brought back into the fold at some point.…

‘Panama Papers’ firm partner says Panama leader received ‘donations’

PANAMA CITY: A partner in the law firm at the heart of the "Panama Papers" scandal fell out publicly with Panama's president -- a former friend -- on Thursday, accusing him of accepting "donations" from a Brazilian company that has admitted to graft. Ramon Fonseca Mora told reporters that President Juan Carlos Varela confided he received from Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction giant that paid millions of dollars in bribes to land huge public works contracts in Latin America. Fonseca -- who used to be a high-ranking…