Debate and Diplomacy: The Panama Canal Treaties
For three-quarters of a century, the U.S. controlled the
Panama Canal under terms that were unfair to Panamanians. Through
careful diplomacy by President Jimmy Carter and his administration, two
vital treaties were signed between the U.S. and Panama in 1977 and then
ratified in 1978. The treaties successfully ended an era of U.S.
imperialism in Panama, allowing for improved U.S. relations throughout
Latin America. As a consequence of the fierce Senate ratification
debate, the conservative “New Right” movement, which opposed the
treaties, gained power in American politics.
“Problems are inherent when land
controlled by one country bisects another country. A similar situation would
exist if France controlled five miles on each side of the Mississippi River and
Minnesotans had to go through that French controlled land to get from St. Paul
~"The Panama Canal Treaties,"
Marjory Burns Sharnard
Board of Directors
Panama Canal Company
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