Torrijos–Carter Treaties

Torrijos–Carter Treaties

Torrijos–Carter Treaties

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The Torrijos–Carter Treaties (sometimes referred to in the singular as the Torrijos-Carter Treaty) are two treaties signed by the United States and Panama in Washington, D.C., on September 7, 1977, which abrogated the Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty of 1903. The treaties guaranteed that Panama would gain control of the Panama Canal after 1999, ending the control of the canal that the U.S. had exercised since 1903. The treaties are named after the two signatories, U.S. President Jimmy Carter and the Commander of Panama's National Guard, General Omar Torrijos. Although Torrijos was not democratically elected as he had seized power in a coup in 1968, it is generally considered that he had widespread support in Panama to justify his signing of the treaties.

This first treaty is officially titled The Treaty Concerning the Permanent Neutrality and Operation of the Panama Canal and is commonly known as the Neutrality Treaty. Under this treaty, the U.S. retained the permanent right to defend the canal from any threat that might interfere with its continued neutral service to ships of all nations. The second treaty is titled The Panama Canal Treaty, and provided that as from 12:00 on December 31, 1999, Panama would assume full control of canal operations and become primarily responsible for its defense.

History



Panamanian efforts to renegotiate the original Hay-Bunau Varilla Treaty had been ongoing almost since it was first signed in November 1903, a few weeks after Panama obtained its...
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