Panama Separation Day commemorates when Panama separated from Gran Colombia to become the Republic of Panama on November 3, 1903.
Panama Separation Day 2023
Friday, November 3, 2023
Panama’s path to a republic began with independence from Spain as part of Gran Colombia on November 28, 1821.
That early state included parts of modern Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, western Guyana and northwestern Brazil. Eventually those regions took their own independence.
The Panama Canal
After the Spanish-American War of 1898 – 1901, the U.S. government decided it wanted to finish the long dreamed of canal between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
The U.S. government pressured Colombia for a treaty giving the U.S. rights to build a canal across the isthmus of Panama. Colombia refused to ratify the agreement, so the Americans pushed for Panamanian independence instead.
The Panamanian Declaration of Independence was written by Frenchman Phillipe Bunau-Varilla at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.
Colombians regret losing Panama, but Panamanians believe that we were always our own land.
In the end, U.S. President Jimmy Carter returned the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999. Giving territory back to the people who own it is something that all Americans of the United States should be proud of.
“Patría,” by Panamanian New Yorker Rubén Blades, is one of the most beautiful songs ever written about the meaning of homeland.
For some reason, this version of the song opens and closes with photos of Machu Picchu in Peru, but it includes English subtitles so English-only speakers can understand the song.
In the song, a child asks an elder about the homeland he has never seen. He wants to know what it is like. How do you explain that? Blades does a pretty good job.