The country of Panama is strategically located in Central America, on the narrowest strip of land between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Resembling the letter S on its side, the Isthmus of Panama has been home to the eponymous Panama Canal since 1914. Panama’s unique and advantageous geographical location has defined its economic, political, and social history for centuries. Along with the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal has been one of the two most important artificial waterways in the world in terms of shipping volume and strategic importance. This entry discusses the history and economy of Panama, its relationship with the United States, and the Panamanian Public Forces (PPF).

History, the Panama Canal, and Economy

Since the Spanish colonization of the region at the beginning of the ...

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