Success. Thanks to everyone. I am getting solar power now.
In case someone is interested in the steps:
1- My controller (and I think just about all) has ports
to connect to the panel and ports
to connect to the battery
2- I removed the wire coming from the panel
3- measure the voltage across the panel wire: 20 volts (that is a good
sign). This is called VOC
4- measure the ISC. This is a measure of the AMPS generated by the panel. I got zero.
5- at this point I am suspecting bad panel
6- The wire between the panel and the controll had a taped piece right after the panel. I suspect there might be something there so I took out the tape to reveal a connection within the wire
7- disconnected the connection and remeasured (much closer to the panel). I got good voltage and AMPs.
8- Now I suspected it was just a bad connection. Cleaned the wire ends and reconnected and everything think worked.