President Guillermo Endara announced today he was ending his 13-day fast in solidarity with Panama's poor, saying he did not want to endanger his health or his ability to lead the country.
Endara told a news conference in the Metropolitan Cathedral where he has lived and worked since beginning the fast March 1 that he had planned to end it when his conscience told him it was appropriate.
Endara, who is overweight, said that, while he still felt able to continue without food, "I don't want to put my health in danger, or my capacity . . . to guide the government."
He said he had lost 17 pounds and now weighed 232 pounds.
Through the 13-day fast, Endara said it was not a protest at the delay in U.S. aid to help rebuild Panama's struggling economy, which is suffering the effects of U.S. sanctions and years of corruption and mismanagement.