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Monday, April 21 2014 @ 11:02 AM EDT

Panama Canal cheers millionth ship to use waterway

Canal Daily OperationPANAMA CITY - A Chinese bulk carrier has become the millionth vessel to cross the Panama Canal since it was built almost 96 years ago. Panama Canal authorities are marking the milestone by presenting the Hong Kong-flagged Fortune Plum's captain a plaque and a photo of the vessel as it crossed the waterway on Sept. 4. Panama Canal vice president of operations Manuel Benitez presented the award to ship captain Ji Jian on Wednesday as the ship headed back to Asia. The canal was built by the United States in 1914 and handed over to Panama in 1999. Last year, authorities began the waterway's biggest expansion project to add two wider sets of locks that can accommodate wider vessels. About 4 percent of the world's maritime trade passes through the canal's locks. (Bloomberg Business Week)

Editor's Comment: When the ship passed through the Canal on 4 September 2010, the officials at the Panama Canal Authority didn't even know or realize at that point that the Fortune Plum was the one millionth ship to pass through the Panama Canal - their bean counters figured it out later. By the time they woke up the ship was already halfway to Asia. Anyway, now there's a plaque hanging on the bridge. Now ask yourself this - if one million ships have gone through the Panama Canal, why is there still so much poverty in Panama? Answer - because the government of the United States of America managed the Panama Canal for them, not for the benefit of Panama or Panamanians, for almost a century. Contrary to years of Panama Canal Authority rhetoric and press releases claiming otherwise. That situation has since changed, and the economy of Panama has been growing like crazy ever since, and it's only going to get better. You do the math. The average vessel passing through the Panama Canal pays about $200,000 in tolls. Multiply that times one million, and the answer is $200 BILLION DOLLARS (in today's money). So, why is there still poverty in tiny Panama? Great question... History students, don't forget to do the math. And that's why many Panamanians (deep down) think Americans are greedy, selfish pricks.

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Panama Canal cheers millionth ship to use waterway | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Panama Canal cheers millionth ship to use waterway
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 15 2010 @ 06:16 AM EDT

Don, you are absolutely correct, but how much of that money reaches the average Panamanian and how much is skimmed or otherwise directed to the politicians pockets?

Panama Canal cheers millionth ship to use waterway
Authored by: Anonymous on Friday, October 15 2010 @ 01:42 PM EDT

Also, as a Panamanian businessman pointed out to me a while back, what about all of the developed land that Panama received when the Americans pulled out? Billions of dollars worth including hospitals, airports, businesses, homes, etc...