Fernando Eleta Almarán: In Memoriam

As he said goodbye to Panama and his fellow Panamanians, Fernando Eleta Almarán leaves a very different country than that in which he was born 90 years ago.  The greatest thing about this difference is due, in great measure, to the contribution that he, and his generation partners, did in order to transform this young and small country, which had arrived to the world of nations with severe limitations regarding its sovereignty and state personality, into a national state with full development of its possibilities.  Beyond his accomplishments as a businessman, Fernando Eleta will be remembered by exercising his condition of citizen at the service of the construction of a republic in the Panamanian Isthmus. 

He was 37 years old when he accepted the responsibility of managing the State finances, and 43 when he took charge of the Nation’s Foreign Relations in order to begin the negotiation process that 13 years later would result in the Torrijos – Carter Treaties, giving sovereignty back to Panama, and with it, its own responsibility over its destiny.  During his labor at the service of his country and people, in which he would return one last time as Ambassador for the National Council of Foreign Relations at the complex circumstances that Panama underwent in 1990, Fernando Eleta held a commitment to the best interests of the Latin American region, acting at all times as an active promoter of initiatives that would propose social justice in a democracy as the most suitable mean for overcoming our towns problems.

His work in politics, on the other hand, can only be understood in the light of his work as a promoter of strengthening the capabilities of Panamanian society.  A clear example of this is his contribution in creating the Panamanian Association of Business Executives in 1958, in which he served as President.  Also in his role for the gestation of the National Association for Nature Conservancy at the beginning of the 90’s and in 1995 for the concept and project of a City of Knowledge inside the military base of Fort Clayton, a center for the promotion of cultural, scientific and academic activities at the service of national development.

On a personal matter, Fernando Eleta Almarán will remain in the memory of those who had the privilege of knowing and treating him.  As a businessman he left many riches he helped create. As a man of the State he leaves his contribution to creating the conditions that allow us to exercise our citizen duties and rights. And as a citizen himself he leaves the responsibility of taking to new and more complex levels the contribution of entities such as the City of Knowledge, regarding always our development as a nation, which will help honor his memory.