George W. Bush photo

Remarks in a Discussion on Panama's Future in Panama City

November 07, 2005

Mr. President, thank you for your invitation. I told the President earlier I was really looking forward to stopping here in Panama for a variety of reasons. First, I'm proud of the job he's done. He's fought corruption. He's been a strong fiscal steward of the people's money. This economy is growing.

Secondly, I wanted to see the Panama Canal. It's a marvel. It's a fantastic opportunity to see this great engineering feat. And at my press availability today, I said how proud I was of the people of Panama for managing this canal in a professional way, for the good of commerce around the world.

Thirdly, I think it's very important for us always to reconfirm the importance of democracy in our hemisphere. And Panama is a strong democracy, a democracy that believes in the freedom to worship, the freedom to speak, the freedom of the press, the notion that everybody has got a voice. And so it's an opportunity to say thank you for those of you who are working so strong to make sure your democracy flourishes.

So Laura and I are really thrilled to be here. It's been a magnificent trip. I'm sorry it's not longer. I told the President, after I'm President, I'll come back and go fishing with him. [Laughter] In the meantime, thanks for having us. I'm proud to be here.

NOTE: The President spoke at 11:30 a.m. at Salon Miraflores. The Office of the Press Secretary also released a Spanish language transcript of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks in a Discussion on Panama's Future in Panama City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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