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National Archives

Public Papers - 1989 - December

Statement by Press Secretary Fitzwater on the Continuation of Fernando Manfredo, Jr., as Acting Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission


The President has asked the current Panamanian Deputy Administrator of the Panama Canal Commission, Mr. Fernando Manfredo, to continue to serve the Commission and to serve as Acting Administrator of the Commission upon the retirement of the current U.S. Administrator, Mr. McAuliffe, effective January 1, 1990. The Panama Canal Treaty of 1977 requires that on January 1, 1990, the Administrator be a Panamanian national and the Deputy Administrator, a U.S. national. An announcement regarding an Acting Deputy Administrator will be made subsequently by the Board of Directors of the Commission.

The administration has asked Mr. Manfredo to continue to serve the Canal Commission in an acting capacity, given the outstanding ability he has demonstrated both as Deputy Administrator and as Acting Administrator on previous occasions when the Administrator has been absent. As this step demonstrates, the United States is committed to meeting the requirements of the Panama Canal Treaty even under current circumstances in which no legitimate government authority exists in Panama. A Panamanian Administrator will be appointed at such time as a legitimate Panamanian Government exists and proposes its candidate for Administrator in accordance with the procedures set forth in the treaty and applicable law.

Mr. Manfredo's 10 years of experience as Deputy Administrator and his demonstrated capability will ensure that the waterway will continue to be managed safely and efficiently.

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