P. Edronkin

People Shouldn't Complain so Much When It's Not Due



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U.S. imperialism and the ecological impact of its actions are being constantly criticised regarding its intervention in Central America to build the Panama canal, but who would have done things better?

The very existence of the Panama canal not only facilitates commerce but communications at large, has diminished notably the number of ship accidents around the Drake strait and Tierra del Fuego, the collateral contamination in the area as a result of ships being sunk by fate and the weather, increases the speed with which humanitarian help reaches different parts of the globe and of course, has contributed significantly to the development of Panama, like it or not.

Since the Central American isthmus was closed naturally by geological forces some million years ago, the Atlantic and the Pacific have been left out of touch except thorough the Arctic see or Cape Horn; however, proposing any seaman to do a trip thorough any of those places has never been quite well received.

The United States has committed quite a lot of abuses in central America and indeed, the construction of the Panama canal was no exception; however, the same task could not be achieved today so easily due to political and ecological constraints and at the time there was no other way to achieve such a goal so the critiques that the U.S.A. receives regarding this issue are largely baseless and unfair.

First of all, the benefits that we are all reaping because of the existence of the canal reach the whole world, and not only from a commercial or strategic perspective. Secondly, the construction of the canal, while it was done indeed by using a lot of pressure and arbitrary measures regarding Panama's sovereign rights over its territory now means jobs, income, technology and a role to play in the world for the small central American nation; none of this would exist if it were not for the canal and the imperialism that led to its construction. Third, one of the key aspects of the construction was to get rid of mosquitoes as well as infectious foci in the area, and that meant a significant improvement in public health at the national level in Panama.

And then, lastly, we should ask ourselves: Who would have done the job better? If any could do so in the past or even right now, why is it that we don't have another, better canal somewhere else? So, while it is important to remember what the U.S.A. did wrong in the continent, it is also fair to remember what it did right; we should not forget the good things either, and the Panama canal is one of them.




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