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Panama: Glossary
Country Study > Glossary

GLOSSARY


ADO - Alianza Democrática de Oposición (Democratic Opposition Alliance). Opposition alliance of three major parties and several smaller parties formed to contest the 1984 elections. Remained officially in place in late 1987.

balboa (B) - Panama's monetary unit, in practice consisting only of coins. Official value is B1 equals US$1. United States currency used for paper money.

CCN - Crusada Civilista Nacional (National Civic Crusade). Business-led coalition that organized popular civic opposition to government and FDP (qv) in 1987 demonstrations and unrest.

Central America - Region between Mexico and Panama including present- day Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica.

CFZ - Colón Free Zone. Free-trade zone in Panama. Goods from foreign countries are landed and stored or repackaged there and shipped onward without being subject to Panama's customs duties.

Contadora peace process - A diplomatic initiative launched by a January 1983 meeting on Contadora Island off the Pacific coast of Panama, by which the "Core Four" mediator countries of Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, and Panama sought to prevent through negotiations a regional conflagration among the Central American states of Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. In September 1984 the negotiating process produced a draft treaty, the Contadora Acta, which was judged acceptable by the government of Nicaragua but rejected by the other four Central American states concerned. The governments of Peru, Uruguay, Argentina, and Brazil formed a Contadora Support Group in 1985 in an effort to revitalize the faltering talks. The process was suspended unofficially in June 1986 when the Central American governments refused to sign a revised Acta. The Contadora process was effectively superceded by direct negotiations among the Central American states.

DENI - Departamento Nacional de Investigaciones (National Department of Investigations). Undercover secret police.

Eurocurrency - A country's currency on deposit outside the country. Most Eurocurrency claims are Eurodollars, which are dollar claims on banks located outside the United States. The Eurocurrency market is a wholesale market.

FDP - Fuerzas de Defensa de Panam*a (Panama Defense Forces). Panama's military forces. Includes former National Guard as well as all military and police forces. FDP commander was de facto head of government in late 1987.

fiscal year (FY) - Calendar year.

FRAMPO - Frente Amplio Popular (Broad Popular Front). Small left-of- center party that was part of pro-government coalition, UNADE (qv), in 1984 elections, but lost legal status by failing to win 3 percent of total vote.

GDP - gross domestic product. A measure of the total value of goods and services produced by the domestic economy during a given period, usually one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of profits, compensation to employees, and depreciation (consumption of capital). The income arising from investments and possessions owned abroad is not included, only domestic production. Hence, the use of the word "domestic" to distinguish GDP from GNP (qv).

GNP - gross national product. Total market value of all final goods and services produced by an economy during a year. Obtained by adding GDP (qv) and the income received from abroad by residents less payments remitted abroad to nonresidents.

IMF - International Monetary Fund. Established along with the World Bank (qv) in 1945, the IMF is a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations that takes responsibility for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. The main business of the IMF is the provision of loans to its members when they experience balance-of- payment difficulties. These loans often carry conditions that require substantial internal economic adjustments by the recipients.

mola - Literally, clothing, dress, or blouse in Cuna dialect, but has come to mean simply the single panel of a Cuna woman's appliqued blouse. The panels feature colorful, intricately stitched, abstract or geometric designs; scenes of everyday Cuna life, lore, myths, legends, flora, and fauna; or ideas or images from the outside world.

MOLIRENA - Movimiento Liberal Republicano Nacional (National Liberal Republican Movement). Pro-business coalition of several center-right political movements. Part of opposition coalition ADO (qv).

offshore banking - Term applied to banking transactions conducted between participants located outside the country. Such transactions increased rapidly worldwide after the mid-1960s because of the growth and liquidity of Eurocurrency (qv) markets.

PALA - Partido Laborista Agrario (Labor and Agrarian Party, often referred to simply as the Labor Party). Despite title, generally right-of- center, pro-business. Part of pro-government coalition, UNADE (qv).

Panama Canal net ton - Measure used to assess tolls for the Panama Canal based on 100 cubic feet of a vessel's net earning capacity, usually meaning its cargo space.

PAPO - Partido de Acción Popular (Popular Action Party). Minor independent party that contested 1984 elections but lost legal status by failing to garner 3 percent of total vote.

PDC - Partido Demócrato Cristiano (Christian Democratic Party). Centrist opposition party. Part of opposition coalition, ADO (qv).

PdP - Partido del Pueblo (People's Party). Far left, orthodox communist, pro-Moscow party. Ran candidates in 1984 elections, but lost legal status by failing to win 3 percent of total vote.

PLN - Partido Liberal Nacional (National Liberal Party). Generally right-of- center. Part of pro-government coalition, UNADE (qv).

PNP - Partido Nacionalista Popular (Popular Nationalist Party). Minor party that contested 1984 elections, but lost legal status by failing to receive 3 percent of total vote.

PP - Partido Panameñista (Panameñista Party). Small break-away faction of Panameñistas. Part of pro-government coalition, UNADE (qv), in 1984 elections, but lost legal status by failing to win 3 percent of total vote.

PPA - Partido Panameñista Auténtico (Authentic Panameñista Party). Nation's leading opposition party. Strongly nationalist and populist. Part of opposition coalition, ADO (qv). Led by veteran politician Arnulfo Arias Madrid.

PPP - Partido Panameño del Pueblo (Panamanian People's Party). Far left communist party.

PR - Partido Republicano (Republican Party). Right-of-center party. Part of pro-government coalition, UNADE (qv).

PRD - Partido Revolucionario Democr*atico (Democratic Revolutionary Party). Official government party founded by Torrijos. Part of pro- government coalition, UNADE (qv).

Roosevelt Corollary - Policy enunciated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904 specifying that if a country in the Western Hemisphere failed to maintain internal order or to pay its international debts, the United States could intervene with military force to rectify the situation. Policy was bitterly resented by Latin American nations.

terms of trade - Number of units that must be given up for one unit of goods received, by each party (e.g., nation) to a transaction. The terms of trade are said to move in favor of the party that gives up fewer units of goods than it did previously for one unit of goods received, and against the party that gives up more units of goods for one unit of goods received. In international economics, the concept of "terms of trade" plays an important role in evaluating exchange relationships between nations.

UNADE - Unión Nacional Democr*atica (National Democratic Union). Pro- government coalition of six parties formed to contest 1984 elections; remained officially in place in late 1987.

World Bank - Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance designed specifically to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in less developed countries. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital. To participate in the World Bank group, member states must first belong to the IMF (qv).

Yankee - Generally pejorative term used in Latin America to refer to United States citizens.




Last Updated: December 1987


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Panama was first published in 1987. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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