Today, all of Panama is celebrating and rejoicing its 107-year old independence when it separated from Colombia and had earlier in its history broke away from Spain. The Spanish arrived in the 1500’s and stayed for nearly 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations. Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. With U.S. backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 on November 3rd.
Panama has always been critical to trade routes with its Panal Canal built by the U.S. back in 1904. The country has bragging rights as the third largest economy in Central America thanks in great part to canal tariffs. The country also enjoys one of the largest rainforest in the world and a large biodiverse region.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent her congratulations to the people of Panama: “The Panama Canal first opened our hemisphere to new movements of people and ideas and helped knit our nations more closely together over a century ago. The bonds of culture and history between Panama and the United States continue to provide a firm foundation for our close cooperation today. I wish the Panamanian people a joyous Independence Day celebration as we honor your accomplishments and reaffirm our commitment to deepening the friendship between our nations. ¡Felicitaciones Panameños!”