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Old 07-03-2007, 16:58   #31
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I think he was jokin guys.
When I was there I was told that when the panamanian people voted on the treaty they voted to leave it in U.S. control but the popular vote got over ruled some where up the line. And I herd that from several different people. It was Very contraversial at that time. Don,t know if it was the truth but stranged things happened to goverment people there While Noriega was calling the shots so Who knows.
I have real fond memories from there mostly because of the Panamanians that I met And worked with.
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Old 07-03-2007, 17:51   #32
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Treaty Ratification Vote

The popular vote of the Panamanian people to ratify the treaties involving the handover of the Canal Zone and the canal itself from the US was actually an overwhelming two-thirds for, one third against. The vote took place on October 23, 1977, and brought the highest turnout in Panamanian history. And, at the time, Noriega was just another thug in the Panamanian army on the payroll of the CIA.

Torrijos was the self-appointed ruler of Panama at the time. Many believe, and Noriega even contended in his 1997 book America's Prisoner, that the Torrijos regime had contingency plans to sabotage the canal if the treaties were not ratified by the US Senate. American ratification occurred March 16, 1978 on the first treaty, and April 18, 1978 on the second.

Noriega didn't come to power in Panama until 1983, and was still a highly placed pawn of the CIA after he did. In 1986, though, he went "off the reservation," and became a liability to the US. Hence, the invasion in 1989 which resulted in the deaths of 24 US military personnel, about 50 Panamanian soldiers, and 3,000 to 15,000 Panamanian civilians - no one knows for certain.

In addition, over 15,000 more Panamanians were displaced in the aftermath of the "war."

Perhaps it would be educational to remember that this invasion happened in the first year of George Bush the Elder's administration, and people had been calling him a Wimp.

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Old 07-03-2007, 21:22   #33
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"Actually, hellosailor, it isn't true that the Panamanians "threw out the US.""
OK, whose idea was it for the US to step out? And, what did we get out of it? Obviously I missed something, in the early 70's I was distracted by an illegal peace action and in the late 70's let's just say I was still distracted.

"As to taking up the Chinese on their offer to finance a widening of the canal, what's wrong with that? " My understanding is that Red China owns the company that now runs the PC, and that was a done deal to replace the US--even before and without any guarantee the PC would be widened. I could be wrong on that, I tend to let anything south of the Rio Grande be dealt with by the locals who own it.


"When the Americans got involved ...In return, the Americans were granted a concession " Yup. Knew that, and to be fair if anyone wants me to feel guilty about what the US did back then...The only REALLY fair thing to do would be to throw down the entire Panamanian government and give the WHOLE THING back to Columbia. I'm not that motivated.<G>

"As to your contention that "filling the ditch back in" is politically and ecologically correct, the saying "cutting off your nose to spite your face" pops to mind. The economic consequences for the entire global economy if the Panama Canal were to be lost is almost incalcuable."
As to the economics--yes, of course. But the point is, what is diplomatically correct? We built the country and the canal, right or wrong good or bad. OK, now they want us to get out and leave them the benefit of US lives, dollars, and technologies. Why? In global politics, any nation that simply walks away that way buys itself major long-term problems. You don't give away big expensive projects without getting payback for them, or else the world demands, extorts, blackmails, and then you wind up with long-term problems. So, what did we get out of it? I never did hear.

The point of filling it in is exactly the same thing that the Romans and Mongols accomplished by salting the earth. Folks think twice before awakening a tiger. Collateral damage, someone has to build a new canal? Not a problem...those parties would intercede and beg Panama to allow the US to remain in place and cancel the big fill. And if they didn't...TFB. In long-term world politics, we could gain a lot of respect by proving we meant what we said, and we weren't going to give things away. (Not a question fo right and wrong, but rather, of what others perceive and how they respond.)

But rather than drift into gloabl politics...remind me, what did we get in exchange for handing back a trillion(?) dollars worth of engineering before the contract was up?
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Old 08-03-2007, 01:09   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor
1. “...My understanding is that Red China owns the company that now runs the PC ...”
2.”... I tend to let anything south of the Rio Grande be dealt with by the locals who own it ...”
3. “... So, what did we get out of it? ...”
1. In 2005, China, including Hong Kong S.A.R., was the largest shipper in Atlantic-bound canal traffic with 17,769,372 long tons (18,054,515 metric tons) of goods reaching the East Coast of the Americas, according to the Panama Canal Authority. Nearly 87 percent of the Atlantic-bound cargo from China were for the United States.
The ports at the ends of the Canal are operated by Panama Ports Company, which is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings Limited. That firm is owned by Hutchison Whampoa Limited, which is owned by the Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited.

2. As opposed to “official” American policy over the past 150 years.

3. Throughout the 1800s, American and British leaders and businessmen wanted to ship goods quickly and cheaply between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. To that end, in 1850 the United States and Great Britain negotiated the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty to reign in rivalry over a proposed canal through the Central American Republic of Nicaragua. Under the terms of the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty, the U.S.A. and Great Britain agreed:
Not to seek exclusive control of the canal or territory on either side of such a canal
Not to fortify any position in the canal area
Not to establish colonies in Central America
The Anglo-American (Nicaraguan) canal, however, never went beyond the planning stages.

Experiences during the Spanish-American (1899) war underlined the strategic need for more rapid deployment of the U.S. fleet. More than two months were required to sail from California to New York by way of Cape Horn*. After the United States acquired territories in the Caribbean and in the Pacific (as a result of the Spanish-American War), U.S. control over an isthmian canal seemed imperative.

The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty** of 1903, which provided the United States with a 10-mile wide strip of land for the Panama canal, a one-time $10 million payment to (the newly created country of) Panama, and an annual annuity of $250,000. The United States also agreed to guarantee the independence of Panama. The United States government owned and operated the canal and the surrounding zone for 85 years, establishing it as a valuable trade route and important piece of national security for its armed forces. In the first decade of its operation, the Canal produced significant social returns for the United States. Most of these returns were due to the transportation of petroleum from California to the East Coast.

* Completion of the Panama Canal reduced that voyage by 8,000 miles.

** Convention for the Construction of a Ship Canal (Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty):
The Avalon Project : Convention for the Construction of a Ship Canal (Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty), November 18, 1903
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Old 08-03-2007, 09:37   #35
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For Ram, With Apologies

Ram, my apologies for perhaps having contributed to the hijacking of your thread. You had inquired about choosing Panama as a place to live/retire. I think that you should visit the country for yourself, and, if possible hire a local guide to show you around. Educate yourself on the history and geography of the isthmus before you go, then try to see as many of the places you will have gotten familiar with in your studies as you can.

Check out both coasts, Pacific and Caribbean, and the highlands in between. If you want to talk to numerous ex-pat Americans who have already relocated there, go to Boquete. If you want to see a laid-back, Caribbean Island sort of place, go to Bocas del Toro. If possible, get out to some of the Pearl Islands on the Pacific side.

Do not even consider going into the Darien Gap, a no-man's-land adjacent to Colombia.

If you will indulge me, I would briefly like to point out that the operation of the Canal has seen an increase in efficiency since the Panamanians assumed full control. In addition, they now have the ability to sell the excess electrical capacity produced by the extensive hydoelectric array into the open market, something that had been expressly prohibited by the US government. Only one-quarter of the power produced is required to run the canal.

Before the handover on December 31, 1999, Panama had solicited bids worldwide from all parties interested in operating the two container shipping ports at either end of the canal. The 25-year contract was won by Hutchison Whampoa, a gigantic shipping concern owned by Li Ka Shing, the wealthiest man in Asia. The firm is based in Hong Kong. How that item has gotten distorted into the notion that "Red China owns the company that now runs the canal" is beyond my ability to comprehend.

Since the US invasion in 1989, Panamanian life has slowly regained its footing. Several free and fair elections have been held since that time, with opposing parties having won at various times. In addition, the Panamanians have displayed rare wisdom by outlawing a standing army. It is truly "the Switzerland of the Americas."

Best of luck to you in your search for a new place to call home.

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Old 08-03-2007, 09:37   #36
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Hi Gord. Thanks for the background info!

"1. In 2005, China, including Hong Kong S.A.R., was the largest shipper "
Yup. Seen lots of those "COSCO" warehouses on the water.

"The ports at the ends of the Canal are operated ...owned by the Hong Kong-based Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited."
I've repeatedly heard that firm is either outright owned, or controlled, by the People's Republic of China, aka Red China to use dinosaurs. A holding company is a holding company, whether it is "Evergreen Air" shilling for the CIA, or anyone else.

"2. As opposed to “official” American policy over the past 150 years."
America has had a consistent anything for the past 150 years?? Heck, we can't even figure out is we want to cheat the natives in a consistent manner. I consider our Federal Republic to be a melting pot, and not yet a nation because no matter what anyone pretends, you can't have a "nation" without a uniform national composition, traditions, and language. And all we've got is ten or twelve generations of successive waves of immigration. If Jimmy Carter hadn't changed immigration policies, we might have been halfway there by now. But given the new schism, we may never make it. (Oh, and Mister Lincoln screwed the pooch too, this isn't all the peanut farmer's sin.)

"3. Throughout the 1800s, ...the Clayton-Bulwer Treaty "
Nicaragua would, today, still be ecstatic if the US had backfilled the Panama Canal.

"U.S. control over an isthmian canal seemed imperative." Yah, so now...we cede it early to a sovereign that is in fact one of the few strong enough to be a likely problem that could and would block our use of it?

"The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty** of 1903, ...The United States government owned and operated the canal and the surrounding zone for 85 years, " Wasn't the treaty for 100 years? (Or 99 and change, in the US we now have a "law against perpetuities" which makes 100 year contracts illegal.)

My question is still on the floor: What did we GET or GAIN in EXCHANGE for giving back the ditch 15 years early? And not bidding on the next 100 years of operation? Or was it to our strategic benefit not to be obligated to defend Panama any more? The logic of the pullout eluded me.
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Old 08-03-2007, 13:06   #37
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Taojones, no need to apologize.
I have at this point given up that idea of living in Panama, life changes so fast sometimes.
I am now cruising the Med the last year and am tickled pink, its hard to imagine me leaving this area for many years to come, if ever -thereís so much to see, such rich history and culture, such diversity and wonderful people! I expect at some point I may make it to Panama but I also think itís very possible that I stay here for (ever??)
The only thing I have realized is that Iím not sure where I will end up; Iím just going and perhaps will keep doing so as long as im able or tired of it if thatís possible.
Thanks for your input!
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Old 08-03-2007, 13:40   #38
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Thumbs up Good On Ya, Ram!

Congratulations on having found contentment in the Med, Ram. I've given some thought to doing likewise after I locate the right vessel. Just as you had explored the possibility of relocating to Panama, I've thought about perhaps relocating to Slovenia.

Have you spent much time cruising the Adriatic? It seems like a wonderful place to me, and I love European culture. I backpacked my way around Europe for several months back in the mid-70s, but haven't yet managed to get back there.

I have friends who are just completing a circumnavigation, and they rushed through the Med as fast as they could. Didn't like it at all, they said. I suspect that the Incredible Shrinking Dollar had a lot to do with their experience in the Eurozone.

I also note that your vessel is an FP Athena. I'm looking for a cat in that range myself. Are you happy with the Athena? Any pros and/or cons you can offer would be appreciated.

Best wishes for fair winds and following seas . . .

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Old 31-05-2007, 14:42   #39
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Florida Living

Actually, Florida is a wonderful place to live if you know where to go. Bella had a great thought when she suggested the St. Petersburg area. This a great town with unlimited resources, fairly cheap housing and terrific access to boating in the Gulf of Mexico, Tampa Bay and Boca Ciega Bay (where I live).

For about $250,000 or so you can buy a nice three bedroom, two bath, two car garage house within a mile or less of the beach. You might even get that same house for less if you shop a little bit. My son just negotiated the purchase of a nice two bedroom, two bath, single car garage home close to the beach for $150,000. Condos in the same area can be had for $75,000 to $150,000, depending on how many bedrooms and baths you need. Taxes, in round numbers, are $2,000 per $100,000 of value.

If you don't mind going up to Pasco County, 30 minutes north of St. Pete, you can still buy a waterfront house on a deep water, sailboat canal for less than $300,000.

The sailing and boating on Florida's Gulf coast is great, too. Lots of barrier islands to anchor near and this coast is in the lee of Florida, which means favorable winds and protected water most of the time.

I have lived on both Florida coasts and for my money the Gulf coast is hands down the best.

Just my thoughts, your mileage may vary.
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Old 31-05-2007, 15:10   #40
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Actually just was in Tampa/St.Pete/Clearwater for the first time this week. Overall I'd say I like it, but $200-300k for a house is still serious money. And the roads are badly overcrowded, begging for double expansion which still will leave them at more than double capacity.

Nicer than the east coast--but already way crowded and I'd hate to guess what's next as the infrastructure has to be brought up (high taxes?) and the crowding continues. An awful lot of "for sale" signs down the outer beach roads, too.

Still, all those bay waters...<G>....all those boats...<G>...
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Old 05-06-2007, 07:56   #41
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OK, I can't stay out of this one.
I lived in Panama during the signing of the 1977 treaty. This treaty benefited no one but the politicians.
Carter got to look good by "giving back" the canal. Torrijos got to look good by "kicking out" the Americans.
The original Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty of 1903 gave us the Canal Zone in Perpetuity. There was no Canal when we got there, we built it. There was no Panama when we got there, we freed them from Columbia.
The Panama Canal never made money for America and I doubt it is in the black with Panama running it. It's value has always been strategic and we threw that away.
The relationship between Panamanians and Americans was always open and friendly. There was no fence at the border of the Canal Zone and Panamanians could come and go as they please. Americans did most of their shopping in Panama City greatly benefiting the Panamanian economy. Panamanian students were always protesting and rioting but that happens everywhere.
Many lies were told to the Panamanians to get them to vote for the treaty (big surprise?). When all this was going on we had a steady stream of Panamanians knocking on our door and asking if they could look at our house. They were told the American houses would be given to Panamanian families if they voted for the treaty.
Panama is a wonderful country with wonderful people. It would be worth looking into retiring there.
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Old 05-09-2007, 13:41   #42
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From the current issue of 'Lectronic Latitude, comes word that the lengthening, widening and deepening of the Panama Canal has begun:

"Kaboom!

"September 5 - Panama City, Panama

"The sound of explosives taking out a hillside yesterday marked the beginning of the $5.25 billion project that will allow the Panama Canal to accept supersized ships."

For the rest of the story, go to:

Latitude 38 - Northern California's Premier Sailing and Marine Magazine

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Old 02-12-2007, 19:06   #43
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Struck a huge note with me. I've been planning on Panama for over a year. I know a couple of people who just got their Pensionado visas. I worked professionally as a captain for 18 years. Sailed the Atlantic. Had my own 26' sail and single-handed ft. Lauderdale to Rio Dulce, Guatemala and back. Actively looking for a new boat and sailing to Panama when I retire in about 6 months.

Belize...been there, was okay, but not a place to retire.
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Old 02-12-2007, 20:32   #44
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I know a couple of people who just got their Pensionado visas.
Welcome to the Forum, OS'42. Glad you're here.

Congratulations on your up-coming retirement! Are you looking into the pencionado program yourself? How difficult was it for your friends to qualify, if you know?

Are you thinking of any particular area in Panama to retire to? There are a number of interesting geographic areas in Panama, any one of which would make a good home. And since you're never very far from the water, keeping a vessel there makes a lot of sense.

You could even keep one on the Pacific side, and one on the Caribbean side, saving a fortune on Canal tolls!

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Old 02-12-2007, 20:50   #45
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Why? In global politics, any nation that simply walks away that way buys itself major long-term problems. You don't give away big expensive projects without getting payback for them, or else the world demands, extorts, blackmails, and then you wind up with long-term problems.
Hehe.
That is what Americans do man!

Here are a few big things that my dad built here and there that we gave away.
Huge amounts of infrastructure in Iran.
A dam. Airfields. electric. roads. etc.
Airfield in Peshawar along with housing and it's infrastructure.
Seaport (pretty big) in Somolia.

It's what we do.

We will slow down now though because we can't afford it any more.

But on topic.
My brother checked out Costa Rica. He says that now it is not that great.
Belize is too remote.
Panama might be too unstable.
Mexico....don't really know........they have a reputation.

Kinda like picking out a boat..............

Hard to do.
"Charter all of them to see"
Hmmmm.....................
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