Political Events In Panama
February 1, 2004
One of the most well known issues concerning the early settlement of Panama came out of the fight over the building of the Panama Canal. The decisions over who would build and through which route the building would take place, were long and hard fought; however, it was eventually decided that the United States would have that privilege and that they would be building the route through Colombia, consequently becoming the catalyst for turning Panama into its' own independent state.
During the many years that the Panama Canal has been under the total control of the United States, it has provided economic stability in the form of income, available jobs, etc. for the citizens of the "Zone" and other Panamanian dwellers. The ultimate dream of freedom for these citizens, historically, was to have the Panama Canal released from the hands of the American Government.
It seems that after waiting so long for this event, Panamanians are more disturbed and worried over their newfound "freedom" than any previous expectations could have warranted.
Despite Ronald Reagan's protestations in 1976 of "We built the canal, we paid for it, and we're going to keep it," the canal was officially
handed back to the Panamanians in 1999, though the right to run the canal, with access to the lands and waters needed for this, and prime responsibility for its defence is still under the directorship and control of the American Government. Even though ownership has finally been turned over to Panamanians, the US still remains the hovering Uncle Sam, anticipating the mismanagement of the zone, by handing it over to the Panama Canal Commission; which is an American public body...