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Panama

Republic of Panama

República de Panamá

Political Status: Became independent of Spain as part of Colombia (New Granada) in 1819; independent republic proclaimed on November 3, 1903; present constitution, adopted on September 13, 1972, substantially revised on April 24, 1983.

Area: 29,208 sq. mi. (75,650 sq. km.).

Population: 2,839,177 (2000C); 3,397,000 (2008E).

Major Urban Centers (2005E): PANAMA (also known as Panama City, 419,000), San Miguelito (323,000), David (83,000), Colón (23,000).

Official Language: Spanish.

Monetary Unit: Balboa (official rate December 1, 2009: 1.00 balboas = $1US). The balboa is at par with the U.S. dollar, which is also acceptable as legal tender.

President: Ricardo MARTINELLI Berrocal (Democratic Change Party); elected on May 3, 2009, and inaugurated on July 1 for a five-year term, succeeding Martín TORRIJOS Espino (Democratic Revolutionary Party).

Vice President: Juan Carlos VARELA ...

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