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Explored and settled by the Spanish in the 16th century, Panama broke with Spain in 1821 and joined a union of Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela - named the Republic of Gran Colombia. When the latter dissolved in 1830, Panama remained part of Colombia. With US backing, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903 and promptly signed a treaty with the US allowing for the construction of a canal and US sovereignty over a strip of land on either side of the structure (the Panama Canal Zone). The Panama Canal was built by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914. In 1977, an agreement was signed for the complete transfer of the Canal from the US to Panama by the end of the century. Certain portions of the Zone and increasing responsibility over the Canal were turned over in the subsequent decades. With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989. The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were transferred to Panama by the end of 1999. In October 2006, Panamanians approved an ambitious plan (estimated to cost $5.3 billion) to expand the Canal. The project, which began in 2007 and could double the Canal's capacity, is expected to be completed in 2014-15.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 93
553,100 (2009)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 94
6.496 million (2009)

Telephone system
General assessment
Domestic and international facilities well developed
Domestic
Mobile-cellular telephone subscribership has increased rapidly
International
Country code - 507; landing point for the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1), the MAYA-1, and PAN-AM submarine cable systems that together provide links to the US and parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean); connected to the Central American Microwave System (2008)

Broadcast media
Multiple privately-owned TV networks and a government-owned educational TV station; multi-channel cable and satellite TV subscription services are available; more than 100 commercial radio stations (2007)

Internet country code
.pa

Internet hosts World Ranking: 132
10,984 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 104
959,800 (2009)


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  Panama (Panama City):


  GPS points from Panama (Panama City)

La Mina Provincia De Chiriqui

Llano De La Cruz Provincia De Veraguas

Cano Movodone Provincia De Bocas Del Toro

Quebrada Choloben Provincia De Bocas Del Toro

La Palma Provincia De Los Santos

Sosa High Provincia De Panama

Los Calabacitos Provincia De Herrera

Playa Bongo Provincia De Panama




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