Photo: Panama Flag
Today, all of Panama is celebrating and rejoicing its 110-year old independence commemorating its separation from Colombia and when Panama 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.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their congratulations to the people of Panama:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I send best wishes to the Panamanian people as you mark the 110th anniversary of your nation’s independence on November 3.
From beautiful pollera skirts to rich biodiversity, Panama offers countless treasures, both natural and cultural, to the region and the world.
For more than 100 years, the Republic of Panama and the United States have worked together to increase opportunities for all people. Our long-standing friendship is rooted in shared values and shared aspirations for a more peaceful and prosperous future. The U.S.-Panama Trade Promotion Agreement will ensure that future through expanded economic opportunities for both our nations and the world.
We look forward to the continued efficient and safe flow of goods through the Panama Canal as the expansion project moves forward and we approach its 100th anniversary next year.
As you celebrate this special occasion with family and friends, I wish the people of Panama a safe and joyous Independence Day.