Chiari Remón, Roberto Francisco (1905–1981)

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Chiari Remón, Roberto Francisco (1905–1981)

Roberto Francisco Chiari Remón (b. 2 March 1905; d. 1981), Panamanian president (1949, 1960–1964). A liberal and popular politician, he was the son of Rodolfo E. Chiari, who had been president of Panama from 1924 to 1928. Before becoming president he was deputy to the National Assembly (1940–1945) and minister of health and public works (1945). In 1948 he was elected second vice president, and in the following year he was president for five days (20-24 November 1949) after the overthrow of Daniel Chanis. Chiari resigned after the Supreme Court declared him ineligible for the presidency. In 1952 he was the presidential candidate of a popular coalition called the Civilista Alliance, whose victory was not recognized because of the opposition's imposition of Colonel José Antonio ("Chichi") Remón Cantera.

Chiari was elected president in 1960 as the candidate of a four-party coalition, the first opposition candidate to win an election in Panama. He entered office with a reformist attitude and was intent on breaking the oligarchy's grip on power. However, most of his reform measures were blocked by the National Assembly. Seeking better relations with the United States, Chiari traveled to Washington, D.C., and won some concessions from the Kennedy administration, including the right to fly the Panamanian flag at certain sites in the Canal Zone. However, as a result of the 1964 flag riots, Chiari broke diplomatic relations with the United States and demanded the abrogation of the 1903 treaty. He was succeeded in 1964 by Marcos Aurelio Robles.

See alsoPanama Canal: Flag Riots .


Walter La Feber, The Panama Canal: The Crisis in Historical Perspective (1978); Panama: A Country Study (1989).

Additional Bibliography

Major, John. Prize Possession: The United States Government and the Panama Canal, 1903–1979. Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

Soler, Ricaurte. Panamá, nación y oligarquía: 1925–1975. Panamá: Ediciones de la Revista Tareas Panamá, 1989.

                                    Juan Manuel PÉrez