The ceremony “is an act of historical reparation” with the Sephardi who suffered “the intolerance that was then not only in Spain,” said the Spanish ambassador in Panama, Ramon Santos.
On June 24, 2015, the Congress of Deputies approved Law 12/2015 granting Spanish nationality to those Sephardic people who so request without renouncing their other nationality and without the requirement to reside in Spain.
“Sepharad is the Hebrew word with which it designates Spain and Sephardim are those Jews expelled from Spain 500 years ago who formed communities in North Africa, the Middle East, Turkey, Portugal and many of which were distributed throughout America “The diplomat recalled.
Panama has one of the most important and influential Hebrew communities on the continent. With the exception of Israel, Panama is the only country in the world that has had two Jewish presidents, Max Delvalle Levy-Maduro (1967) and his nephew Eric Arturo Delvalle (1985-1989).
According to the Central Council of Hebrew Community of Panama, the presence of Jews in Panama dates back to the 15th century when the Catholic Kings expelled all those who did not want to convert to Christianity, but it was intensified 150 years ago with the Californian gold fever and The construction of the canal.
85% of the Jews living in Panama are Sephardic, unlike other Latin American countries where the community is mostly Ashkenazi.