Sephardim receive Spanish nationality in Panama

PMC Asset Management Corp.

Twenty-three Sephardic residents in Panama today swore fidelity to the Constitution and the King, following the approval of a law allowing acquire Spanish nationality to all those who prove to be descendants of those expelled from Spain in 1492.

«Be you, dear compatriots, welcome to this little piece of Spanish territory is the embassy of Spain,» said the ambassador in Panama, Ramon Santos.

In June 2915 the Congress of Deputies approved the law granting Spanish nationality to those Sephardim who request without renounce their other nationality and without the requirement of residence in Spain.

A day after the entry into force this law, the Spanish government granted nationality by naturalization, a group of 4,302 Sephardim from different countries, who had already applied before the adoption of the standard and who was speeded the process so that it would not have to start over.

Among these Sephardim are Jews who attended the ceremony held Tuesday at the Embassy of Spain in Panama, in the center of Panama City.

«It is an act of reparation of an unjust decision taken centuries. The name comes precisely from Sefarad Sephardim, the word with the Hebrew language calls Spain», said the diplomat.

The granting of Spanish nationality «is a gesture of rapprochement» and means «step toward union, as we have always felt that expelled us,» admitted Efe David Perets, the rabbi of the synagogue Shevet Ahim, the most largest of the Panamanian capital.

The youngest Sephardi and the first to swear allegiance to the Spanish Constitution in the act of Tuesday in Panama was Moses Garzon, 24, in a few months receive a Spanish passport that will «open the doors of the European Union «.

Garzón’s grandparents are from the Moroccan city of Tetuan (when it was still part of the Spanish protectorate in Morocco) family and is one of the leading rabbis in Madrid, Baruch Garzon.

«The name of my uncle out» in the telephone directory «as B. Garzón and appears just before the phone Baltasar Garzon,» the Spanish exmagistrado known, and «the rabbis are wrong and called the judge asking for my uncle» gracefully he told the young man.

The lawyer Abraham Sofer, whose ancestors are from the Spanish city of Toledo, said he was «very grateful to the King (Philip VI) to recognize the historical error of their ancestors, and the Spanish Parliament unanimously approved both the opposition and the government despite the dispute they have now, that the Jews return to Spain «.

Panama has one of the most important and influential Jewish communities in the continent. Except for Israel, Panama is the only country that has had two Jewish presidents, Levy-Max Delvalle Maduro (1967) and his nephew Eric Arturo Delvalle (1985-1989).

The first Jews arrived in the Central American country 150 years ago and currently number about 20,000, 85% of whom are Sephardi explained Rabbi Perets.

Most twenty Sephardim today are nationalized Venezuelan emigrants come to Panama in recent years due to the crisis facing Venezuela.