LA ESTRELLA de Panama, born in 1849, has received a possible death sentence from the country whose citizens founded the paper as The Panama Star during the Californian gold rush.
The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) formally advised lawyers in Washington, DC, that it will not renew the operating license for La Estrella and El Siglo so that US citizens will not be able to do business with the company
In a statement published on Tuesday evening, July 11, the company said it would continue to operate as long as possible.
"We know of the great support of the Panamanian people, our advertisers and society in general, for that reason our commitment and firm readiness to continue," said Eduardo Quirós, president of the editorial group.
"Extending the general license would be inconsistent with the current policies of the United States government," notes the letter denying the extension of the license.
The papers reached the edge of extinction once before and produced “final editions” before receiving an eleventh-hour reprieve.
They are owned by the Abdul Waked family conglomerate which is on the Clinton List accused of money laundering and drug smuggling. The group has already been forced to sell Soho Mall, The Felix Maduro retail chain and Balboa Bank, but Waked remains committed to the newspapers.