Saturday, October 01, 2011


The Republic of Panama was created by an American dream .

Its story as a modern country began in 1902 when the United States senate approved the building of a canal that will link the Pacific to the Atlantic at the Isthmus of Panama that was then part of Colombia.

For such design, Colombia signed the Hay-Herran Treaty which gave the United States a vague "renewable lease in perpetuity" over the land where the canal will be built.

Colombia's senate did not ratify the treaty so a secessionist revolution in the isthmus was encouraged and supported by the United States.

The Republic of Panama was officially proclaimed independent in 1903 only 8 months after the signing of the rejected treaty, and the United States was among the first to recognize the new country.

A French citizen who was then serving as a Panamanian ambassador signed another treaty granting the United States rights for the canal and an indefinite period of administrative authority that would later become an irritant between the 2 countries.

Colombia was appeased with a $10 million compensation and would recognize Panama as a sovereign nation in 1921.

Unrest ignited by popular resentment over the United States' sovereignty in the canal zone prompted the signing of another treaty in 1977 which gave Panama equal rights in its administration.

On 31 December 1999, the Republic of Panama assumed full control over the canal.

On 29 October 2011, I disembarked at Panama City's Aeropuerto Internacional de Tocumen and claimed the bragging rights of having been to 5 --- Asia, Africa, Europe, North America, South America --- of the world's 7 continents.

FOOTNOTE: Historically and geographically, Panama is part of South America. However, the United Nations geoscheme placed Panama and other Central American countries within the North American continent. But Panama's people call themselves South Americans and their culture is as South American as it can be. 

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