Panama Canal Lease Agreement


De Lesseps wanted a sea-level canal (like the Suez), but he only visited the site a few times, during the dry season, which lasts only four months a year. [17] His men were unprepared for the rainy season, when the Chagres River, where the canal began, became a torrent that stretched up to 10 m (35 ft). The dense jungle was alive with poisonous snakes, insects and spiders, but the worst challenges were yellow fever, malaria and other tropical diseases that killed thousands of workers; In 1884, the mortality rate was more than 200 per month. [18] Public health measures were ineffective because the role of the mosquito as a vector of the disease was unknown at the time. Conditions were minimized in France to avoid recruitment problems,[19] but the high mortality rate made it difficult to retain experienced staff. After initially working with the reluctant Colombian nation on a canal-building strategy, Roosevelt changed tactics in 1903, promised his support for Panama`s intermittent separatist movement and sent American warships to secure the region`s surrender to Colombia. Nary was shot. With independence achieved, the United States and most other countries quickly recognized Panama. A reluctant SenateIt was then that Roosevelt launched the american chain`s efforts, buying the French developer`s project rights for $40 million and overcoming a reluctant and isolationist U.S. Senate in the process. The Panama Canal, the most expensive construction project in U.S. history, ultimately cost the Americans an additional $387 million, of which $10 million was paid to Panama. Despite significant progress in the treatment of the disease, an additional 5,600 deaths were recorded over the next 10 years.

The canal was inaugurated in 1914, nearly six years after Roosevelt`s resignation. Roosevelt had initially secured a 99-year lease until 2003 to engage the canal area 50 miles long and 10 miles wide. The key to the technical success of the canal is three “locks” – Gatun, Pedro Miguel and Miraflores – with two lanes each. These locks serve as elevators that raise ships 85 feet above sea level from the Atlantic Ocean or The Pacific Ocean to the fresh water of Gartun Lake. Powered by the gravity of the lake, the water enters the locks thanks to an innovative system of flows and passages. Negotiations on a possible Panamanian possession began in earnest in 1974. An often controversial treaty was proposed, in which the U.S. Senate and some political experts initially doubted Panama`s ability to cope with this very complex operation. The agreement was finally reached by the Senate and signed in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter and Panama`s Omar Torrijos.

Twelve years later, in 1989, President George H.W. Bush violently kidnapped the corrupt Manuel Antonio Noriega, Panama`s military dictator.

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