September 7, 1977: Statement on the Panama Canal Treaty Signing

President Jimmy Carter delivered the following speech on September 7, 1977.

Mr. Secretary General and distinguished leaders from throughout our own country and from throughout this hemisphere:

First of all, I want to express my deep thanks to the leaders who have come here from 27 nations in our own hemisphere, 20 heads of state, for this historic occasion.

I’m proud to be here as part of the largest group of heads of state ever assembled in the Hall of the Americas, Mr. Secretary General.

We are here to participate in the signing of treaties which will assure a peaceful and prosperous and secure future for an international waterway of great importance to us all.

But the treaties do more than that. They mark the commitment of the United States to the belief that fairness, and not force, should lie at the heart of our dealings with the nations of the world.

If any agreement between two nations is to last, it must serve the best interests of both nations. The new treaties do that. And by guaranteeing the neutrality of the Panama Canal, the treaties also serve the best interests of every nation that uses the canal.

This agreement thus forms a new partnership to insure that this vital waterway, so important to all of us, will continue to be well operated, safe, and open to shipping by all nations, now and in the future.

Under these accords, Panama will play an increasingly important role in the operation and defense of the canal during the next 23 years. And after that, the United States will still be able to counter any threat to the canal’s neutrality and openness for use.

The members of the Organization of American States and all the members of the United Nations will have a chance to subscribe to the permanent neutrality of the canal.

The accords also give Panama an important economic stake in the continued, safe, and efficient operation of the canal and make Panama a strong and interested party in the future success of the waterway.

In the spirit of reciprocity suggested by the leaders at the Bogota. summit, the United States and Panama have agreed that any future sea-level canal will be built in Panama and with the cooperation of the United States. In this manner, the best interests of both our nations are linked and preserved into the future.

Many of you seated at this table have made known for years through the Organization of American States and through your own personal expressions of concern to my predecessors in the White House, your own strong feelings about the Panama Canal Treaty of 1903. That treaty, drafted in a world so different from ours today, has become an obstacle to better relations with Latin America.

I thank each of you for the support and help that you and your countries have given during the long process of negotiation, which is now drawing to a close.

This agreement has been negotiated over a period of 14 years under four Presidents of the United States.

I’m proud to see President Ford here with us tonight. And I’m also glad to see Mrs. Lyndon Johnson here with us tonight.
Many Secretaries of State have been involved in the negotiations. Dean Rusk can’t be here. He has endorsed the treaty. But Secretary of State William Rogers is here. We are glad to have you, sir. And Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is here too.

This has been a bipartisan effort, and it is extremely important for our country to stay unified in our commitment to the fairness, the symbol of equality, the mutual respect, the preservation of the security and defense of our own Nation, and an exhibition of cooperation which sets a symbol that is important to us all before this assembly tonight and before the American people in the future.

This opens a new chapter in our relations with all nations of this hemisphere, and it testifies to the maturity and the good judgment and the decency of our people. This agreement is a symbol for the world of the mutual respect and cooperation among all our nations.

Thank you very much for your help.

December 20, 1989: Address to the Nation on Panama

President George H.W. Bush delivered the following speech on December 20, 1989.

My fellow citizens, last night I ordered U.S. military forces to Panama. No President takes such action lightly. This morning I want to tell you what I did and why I did it.

For nearly 2 years, the United States, nations of Latin America and the Caribbean have worked together to resolve the crisis in Panama. The goals of the United States have been to safeguard the lives of Americans, to defend democracy in Panama, to combat drug trafficking, and to protect the integrity of the Panama Canal treaty. Many attempts have been made to resolve this crisis through diplomacy and negotiations. All were rejected by the dictator of Panama, General Manuel Noriega, an indicted drug trafficker.

Last Friday, Noriega declared his military dictatorship to be in a state of war with the United States and publicly threatened the lives of Americans in Panama. The very next day, forces under his command shot and killed an unarmed American serviceman; wounded another; arrested and brutally beat a third American serviceman; and then brutally interrogated his wife, threatening her with sexual abuse. That was enough.

General Noriega’s reckless threats and attacks upon Americans in Panama created an imminent danger to the 35,000 American citizens in Panama. As President, I have no higher obligation than to safeguard the lives of American citizens. And that is why I directed our Armed Forces to protect the lives of American citizens in Panama and to bring General Noriega to justice in the United States. I contacted the bipartisan leadership of Congress last night and informed them of this decision, and after taking this action, I also talked with leaders in Latin America, the Caribbean, and those of other U.S. allies.

At this moment, U.S. forces, including forces deployed from the United States last night, are engaged in action in Panama. The United States intends to withdraw the forces newly deployed to Panama as quickly as possible. Our forces have conducted themselves courageously and selflessly. And as Commander in Chief, I salute every one of them and thank them on behalf of our country.

Tragically, some Americans have lost their lives in defense of their fellow citizens, in defense of democracy. And my heart goes out to their families. We also regret and mourn the loss of innocent Panamanians.

The brave Panamanians elected by the people of Panama in the elections last May, President Guillermo Endara and Vice Presidents Calderon and Ford, have assumed the rightful leadership of their country. You remember those horrible pictures of newly elected Vice President Ford, covered head to toe with blood, beaten mercilessly by so-called “dignity battalions.” Well, the United States today recognizes the democratically elected government of President Endara. I will send our Ambassador back to Panama immediately.

Key military objectives have been achieved. Most organized resistance has been eliminated, but the operation is not over yet: General Noriega is in hiding. And nevertheless, yesterday a dictator ruled Panama, and today constitutionally elected leaders govern.

I have today directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of State to lift the economic sanctions with respect to the democratically elected government of Panama and, in cooperation with that government, to take steps to effect an orderly unblocking of Panamanian Government assets in the United States. I’m fully committed to implement the Panama Canal treaties and turn over the Canal to Panama in the year 2000. The actions we have taken and the cooperation of a new, democratic government in Panama will permit us to honor these commitments. As soon as the new government recommends a qualified candidate—Panamanian—to be Administrator of the Canal, as called for in the treaties, I will submit this nominee to the Senate for expedited consideration.

I am committed to strengthening our relationship with the democratic nations in this hemisphere. I will continue to seek solutions to the problems of this region through dialog and multilateral diplomacy. I took this action only after reaching the conclusion that every other avenue was closed and the lives of American citizens were in grave danger. I hope that the people of Panama will put this dark chapter of dictatorship behind them and move forward together as citizens of a democratic Panama with this government that they themselves have elected.

The United States is eager to work with the Panamanian people in partnership and friendship to rebuild their economy. The Panamanian people want democracy, peace, and the chance for a better life in dignity and freedom. The people of the United States seek only to support them in pursuit of these noble goals.

Thank you very much.

January 8, 1906: Message Regarding Panama Canal

President Theodore Roosevelt delivered the following speech on January 8, 1906.

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

I inclose herewith the annual report of the Isthmian Canal Commission, the annual report of the Panama Railroad Company and the Secretary of War’s letter transmitting the same, together with certain papers.

The work on the isthmus is being admirably done, and great progress has been made, especially during the last nine months. The plant is being made ready and the organization perfected. The first work to be done was the work of sanitation, the necessary preliminary to the work of actual construction; and this has been pushed forward with the utmost energy and means. In a short while I shall lay before you the recommendations of the commission and of the board of consulting engineers as to the proper plan to be adopted for the canal itself, together with my own recommendations thereon. All the work so far has been done, not only with the utmost expedition, but in the most careful and thorough manner, and what has been accomplished gives us good reason to believe that the canal will be dug in a shorter time than has been anticipated and at an expenditure within the estimated amount. All our citizens have a right to congratulate themselves upon the high standard of efficiency and integrity which has been hitherto maintained by the representatives of the government in doing this great work. If this high standard of efficiency and integrity can be maintained in the future at the same level which it has now reached, the construction of the Panama canal will be one of the feats to which the people of this republic will look back with the highest pride.

From time to time various publications have been made, and from time to time in the future various similar publications doubtless will be made, purporting to give an account of jobbery, or immorality, or inefficiency, or misery, as obtaining on the isthmus. I have carefully examined into each of these accusations which seemed worthy of attention. In every instance the accusations have proved to be without foundation in any shape or form. They spring from several sources. Sometimes they take the shape of statements by irresponsible investigators of a sensational habit of mind, incapable of observing or repeating with accuracy what they see, and desirous of obtaining notoriety by widespread slander. More often they originate with, or are given currency by, individuals with a personal grievance. The sensation-mongers, both those who stay at home and those who visit the isthmus, may ground their accusations on false statements by some engineer, who having applied for service on the commission and been refused such service, now endeavors to discredit his successful competitors; or by some lessee or owner of real estate who has sought action, or inaction by the commission to increase the value of his lots, and is bitter because the commission cannot be used for such purposes; or on the tales of disappointed bidders for contracts; or of office holders who have proved incompetent or who have been suspected of corruption and dismissed, or who have been overcome by panic and have fled from the isthmus. Every specific charge relating to jobbery, to immorality or to inefficiency, from whatever source it has come, has been immediately investigated, and in no single instance have the statements of these sensation-mongers and the interested complainants behind them proved true. The only discredit inhering in these false accusations is to those who originate and give them currency, and who, to the extent of their abilities, thereby hamper and obstruct the completion of the great work in which both the honor and the interest of America are so deeply involved. It matters not whether those guilty of these false accusations utter them in mere wanton recklessness and folly or in spirit of sinister malice to gratify some personal or political grudge.

Any attempt to cut down the salaries of the officials of the Isthmian Commission or of their subordinates who are doing important work would be ruinous from the standpoint of accomplishing the work effectively. To quote the words of one of the best observers on the isthmus: “Demoralization of the service is certain if the reward for successful endeavor is a reduction of pay.” We are undertaking in Panama a gigantic task–the largest piece of engineering ever done. The employment of the men engaged thereon is only temporary, and yet it will require the highest order of ability if it is to be done economically, honestly and efficiently. To attempt to secure men to do this work on insufficient salaries would amount to putting a premium upon inefficiency and corruption. Men fit for the work will not undertake it unless they are well paid. In the end the men who do undertake it will be left to seek other employment with, as their chief reward, the reputations they achieve. Their work is infinitely more difficult than any private work, both because of the peculiar conditions of the tropical land in which it is laid and because it is impossible to free them from the peculiar limitations inseparably connected with government employment; while it is unfortunately true that men engaged in public work, no matter how devoted and disinterested their services, must expect to be made the objects of misrepresentation and attack. At best, therefore, the positions are not attractive in proportion to their importance, and among the men fit to do the task only those with a genuine sense of public spirit and eager to do the great work for the work’s sake can be obtained, and such men cannot be kept if they are to be treated with niggardliness and parsimony, in addition to the certainty that false accusations will continually be brought against them.

I repeat that the work on the isthmus has been done and is being done admirably. The organization is good. The mistakes are extraordinarily few, and these few have been of practically no consequence. The zeal, intelligence and efficient public service of the Isthmian Commission and its subordinates have been noteworthy. I court the fullest, most exhaustive and most searching investigation of any act of theirs, and if any one of them is ever shown to have done wrong his punishment shall be exemplary. But I ask that they be decently paid and that their hands be upheld as long as they act decently. On any other conditions we shall not be able to get men of the right type to do the work, and this means that on any other condition we shall insure, if not failure, at least delay, scandal and inefficiency in the task of digging the giant canal.

March 24, 2002: Presidents Bush, Salvadoran President Flores Joint Press Availability

President George W. Bush and Salvadoran President Flores made the following remarks in the Casa Presidencial in San Salvador, El Salvador, at 1:00 PM (local) on March 24, 2002.

PRESIDENT FLORES:  Good afternoon.  It is an honor for us to be here with you, and to be able to answer the questions that you want to ask President Bush and myself.  I would like to start by saying that for El Salvador, it is an immense honor to have President Bush in our land.

President George W. Bush and El Salvador's President Francisco Flores (right) hold a joint press conference in San Salvador, El Salvador, March 24, 2002. "El Salvador is one of the really great stories of economic and political transformation of our time. Just over a decade ago, this country was in civil war," said the President in his remarks. "The country has renewed its commitment to democracy and economic reform and trade. It is one of the freest and strongest and most stable countries in our hemisphere." White House photo by Eric Draper.

El Salvador has been a country that has faced enormous difficulties — the war, combat against poverty, earthquakes.  And El Salvador has done this through a system of freedoms, in the search of a democracy, the search of economic freedom, as well — giving people the opportunity, the opportunity to get education, to trade of their products, and to integrate into the new world.

So a country like ours, that believes in freedom, feels especially honored to have a world leader that has built a leadership based on values and principles, values that have to do with the rights of human beings. And this allows us, countries that are so different like the United States and El Salvador, to find each other in a common point.

So welcome to our country, President Bush.  It is an immense honor to have you here in our country.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Gracias, Senor Presidente, mi amigo.  Thank you, President Flores, for providing such warm hospitality in this beautiful country.  Laura and I were struck when we flew in about your beautiful mountains and your beautiful sea.  I’m honored to be here, for the first time in my life.

We’ve just completed our fifth meeting — this is the fifth time that the President and I have met.  And in each of them, I have come away from out meetings most optimistic about the future of El Salvador.  I truly believe this country has got a unique President and a great President.  El Salvador — and the reason why I believe that is because of the success of the country.

El Salvador is one of the really great stories of economic and political transformation of our time.  Just over a decade ago, this country was in civil war.  For millions of Salvadorans, violence was a daily reality, and prosperity was just a distant dream.  Today, El Salvador is at peace.  The country has renewed its commitment to democracy and economic reform and trade.  It is one of the freest and strongest and most stable countries in our hemisphere.

The United States considers El Salvador a close friend and strong ally.  As friends, we come to each other’s aid in times of crisis.  Since September the 11th, El Salvador has been unwavering in its support for the international coalition against terrorism.  I want to thank the President and the people of El Salvador for their prayers for the American people during this crisis.  I want to thank you, as well, for ordering a freeze on suspected terrorist assets and for strengthening your border security.

And when the devastating earthquakes hit El Salvador last year, the United States immediately dispatched rescue workers and relief assistance. We proudly contributed millions of dollars to El Salvador’s reconstruction effort.  And we will spend even more in the year 2002.

Our countries are united by ties of commerce and culture and kindship. The large number of Salvadorans who live in the United States make valuable contributions to our economy and send approximately $2 billion back home to family members in El Salvador each year, cada anno.  Trade between our countries now approaches $4 billion annually.  That is up 140 percent.  And trade means jobs.  Trade means people who want to work are more likely to find jobs in both countries.

El Salvador is one of the really bright lights in Latin America.  Many countries in this region have changed old ways and have found new wealth and new freedom.  In this coming decade, El Salvador and the United States, and nations throughout this hemisphere are committed to maintaining and extending this progress.

Greater trade can help us accomplish this goal.  In January, I announced we would pursue a free trade agreement with Central American nations.  And the President and I, after this press conference, will be having lunch with other leaders in Central America to discuss this very proposition.  And we’re also going to continue to pursue the Free Trade of the Americas, which aims to encompass the entire hemisphere in a free trade agreement.  Completing these agreements will promote prosperity throughout the hemisphere, and reinforce the region’s progress toward political, and economic, and social reform.

I just met with two El Salvadorans, who are seated right here, who personify the cause of reform.  One’s an architect, and one’s an economist. They are El Salvador’s first two participants in the Americas Fellows Program.  Soon, they will be coming to Washington to spend time working in the United States government offices, where I believe they will acquire new skills and training.  And they can bring them back home, and share them with others.  And thank you all so very much about participating in the program.

I’m also optimistic about this country’s future.  There’s no doubt in my mind that because of this man’s leadership, there are bright days ahead for El Salvador.  And it’s an honor to be invited here, and it’s an honor to call him friend.  And I want to confirm the fact that this nation remains a strong ally with the great people of El Salvador.

Senor Presidente, gracias.


Q    Good afternoon, President Bush.  Good afternoon, President Flores.  As you said, I’m William Melendez (phonetic) from Channel 12, and I have the honor of trying to summarize the questions of all my other colleagues and the mass media of El Salvador.

Presidents, the benefits, the needed benefits of a free trade agreement can delay themselves, if we are not mistaken, to arrive to our countries, maybe five, six years, because the mechanism is a bilateral mechanism, bilateral negotiation.  And so the migration could continue working hard during that phase.

I would like to know, what will the treatment be of the United States of America for those fellow men of ours so that they can regulate their migration status immediately.  And, besides, since poverty is the weakness, what conditions could be applied so that the countries, the poorer countries of our region, especially El Salvador, can optimize their resources and avoid that the states could become main allies of the economic oligopolies?

PRESIDENT BUSH:  A couple points.  One, you’re right, trade agreements sometimes take too long.  And we intend to push as hard as we possibly can to get the trade agreement done.  I was very serious when I announced the trade agreement and we’re going to work hard to expedite the agreement.

Secondly, the President made an interesting suggestion, which I will take very seriously.  He said, make sure that a country is allowed to accelerate its moving into a free trade agreement.  In other words, if the country meets conditions and conditions of rule of law and private property, conditions that I’m confident El Salvador will meet early, let us make sure that if another nation hadn’t met those conditions, El Salvador can ascend to the free trade agreement early.

So one way to cut the time is to analyze the President’s request.  It made a lot of sense to me, and we’ll take a good look at it.

There’s no question there’s a lot of hard-working Salvadorans in the United States.  And the first thing I want to assure the people of this good country is that we want to make sure they’re treated with respect.  We want them to be — we recognize — I recognize that family values, something we talk a lot about in American, don’t stop at the Rio Bravo.

There are people who care deeply about their families in El Salvador; they want to work; they’re looking for jobs.  And the cornerstone of good economic policy, or good immigration policy, is to match a willing employer with a willing worker to make that happen, to facilitate that arrangement. And that’s going to be the cornerstone of immigration reform in the — as this issue comes up in Congress.

On the other hand, there are specific areas of immigration policy that affects the people of El Salvador, starting with TPS.  My administration granted TPS last time the issue came up.  And it doesn’t come up until September, and we’ll take a very hard look at it this summer.

And the second issue is a bill that’s working through the Congress introduced, if I’m not mistaken, by a Democrat and Republican — one named Berman, one named Davis — that would grant same status to Salvadorans, Hondurans, Guatemalans, as those granted to Nicaraguans and Cubans.  And we will take a look at that bill, as well.

In term of oligopoly, the best way to avoid oligopolies is to encourage open markets and competition.  The best way to make sure that oligopolies do not dominate an economy to the detriment of the people is to do what the President’s done — insist that the markets be open; insist that competition allowed — is encouraged.  And another way to enhance open markets and competition is through trade — honest, open trade.

And so that’s what I’ve come to talk about today.  And I believe President Flores is on the absolute right track to making sure oligopolies don’t dominate this economy.

Ken Walsh, U.S. News, fine American.  (Laughter.)

Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, when you return home, new campaign finance legislation will be awaiting your signature.  I wonder if you could tell us if you’re going to, given your criticisms of campaign finance legislation in the past, if you’re going to sign this bill reluctantly or whole-heartedly; what the impact you think will be on our political system; and how you regard the impending legal challenge to the legislation?

PRESIDENT BUSH:  I sign it — I have a kind of a firm, semi-firm signature as it moves across the page — (laughter).  I wouldn’t be signing it if I didn’t think it improved the system.  And I think it improves the system this way:  One, individuals will be allowed to contribute more to the campaigns.  I’ve always been skeptical of a system where monies were put into the system where people didn’t have a choice — whether it be a labor union worker or a shareholder of a corporation.  Sometimes shareholders of corporations — they make an investment for hopefully a good rate of return, and yet they wake up and realize that some CEO or somebody’s made the decision to support a political party or a candidate not of their choosing.  And I’ve always kind of thought that the individual ought to have a choice.  And so, therefore, the fact that the system encourages more individual participation I think is positive.

Finally, they’ve raised individual limits.  I also think this will help challengers.  And as much as I now love incumbency — (laughter) — I think it’s important to encourage challenges in the system.

I am worried about some of the provisions; I stated so in my signing statement.  One such provision was that you can’t — they’re going to try to control who can participate in the election process in the last 60 days. And we’ll see whether or not that stands up.  I’m going to stay, by the way, totally apart from the legal matters.

One of the things I’m disappointed in the law is — and again, this may not stand a court challenge — but I’ve always thought that people who pump money into the political system, we ought to know who they are.  I was a little discouraged — not discouraged — I was quite discouraged at the end of the 2000 campaign to see tons of dollars flowing into the political campaign at the last minute, on these so-called independent groups, and we don’t know who was funding them.

And — you know the kind of ads I’m talking about:  scurrilous, untrue ads, coming into the campaign.  A so-called front group, independent.  And we don’t have any idea who’s putting the money in.  And that’s not good for democracy.

And so I didn’t particularly appreciate the fact that this campaign bill didn’t adequately address full disclosure.  Now, the excuse, evidently, was the courts won’t allow it.  Well, I would have liked to have seen them challenge the system, to see whether the courts might allow it now that we’re going into the 21st century.

But, nevertheless, the bill is a better bill than the current system, and I’m going to sign it.  And there will be — I take it back.  It will be a signature — I won’t hesitate.  It will probably take about — you know, about three seconds to get to the W, I may hesitate on the period, and then rip through the Bush.  (Laughter.)  Thank you.

Q    Good afternoon to both Presidents.  The first question is for President Bush, because we’re talking about taking very seriously the free trade agreement with Central America.  President, you’re also saying and talking about openness.  You said that we were going to eliminate subsidies in the International Conference for Development in Monterrey.  But the market of the United States continues being a protectionist with your national — there are subsidies for agriculture.  I don’t know how much it would be willing — that is, your government — to eliminate these subsidies that are really disrupting the market of the small producers. And also, if the Senate is going to approve in the short-term the permit to start the negotiations, because it also — the advancement of the free trade agreement will depend on this also.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Let me just say one thing.  Look, we buy more goods from all around the world than any nation.  And, of course, we’re the biggest nation, we’re the biggest market.  But, nevertheless, we buy billions of dollars of goods on an annual basis — billions.  I think it’s like $650 billion a year the United States purchases from countries.  And Africa alone, we signed a free trade agreement with Africa and we had a billion dollars of purchases last year, which significantly increased employment in Africa.

And there are some instances where we’ve got — farm policy, for example, where people — where the Congress has decided to fund certain programs.  But this — our market is wide open.  And by the way, any time there’s unfair trade, we will respond, and I have done so, and will continue to do so, because free trade must be fair trade, as well.

But I think if you look at the facts and statistics, you’ll find that the U.S. market is one of the most open markets in the world, and we intend to keep it that way.

PRESIDENT FLORES:  I would like to say the following:  Never, never in the history of El Salvador had El Salvador had the opportunities that they have with the United States of America, thanks to the Caribbean Basin Initiative.  And never had El Salvador had the possibility of signing a free trade agreement with the United States before.  So the possibility of openness that the region has with the United States has no precedent in the history.

Today, while we were flying with President Bush from the airport to this site, I was telling him what this openness is doing in El Salvador. And I was explaining to him that many women in the rural areas have opportunities to work today thanks to that openness of the United States. And it is producing a dramatic change throughout the rural areas of our country.

Undoubtedly, the comparison between donated funds and trade is a comparison that is very different, because it is so much more important to have trade than donations.  So in this sense, we believe that the focus of President Bush is absolutely true:  that the only way to come out of poverty is through work.  And the way to generate employment in our region is giving the possibility of investment and work and labor.

Obviously, the agricultural topic is a topic, is an issue, but this has had an enormous advance for the Salvadorans and the region.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Are you asking another question?

Q    Yes —

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Okay.  What is it?

Q    Excuse me.  My colleagues from Guatemala are asking that in Guatemala there has been the withdrawal of the visas to some militaries. And they want to know if this is part of the control or the enforcement of the improvement of economies that the countries are asking for.


Q    Thank you, Mr. President.  Mr. President, what is —

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Raise the mike a little.

Q    Don’t think it goes that high.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Okay.  (Laughter.)

Q    What is your reaction to the Democratic Party using its national radio address to criticize you on foreign soil, saying you made this trip to Latin America merely to pander to Hispanic voters?

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Wow.  That was the ad?

Q    Yes.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Or not the ad, but the — well, I guess I’d say I’m disappointed.  When I first got elected, I said the best foreign policy for the United States is to have a prosperous, peaceful and free neighborhood. My first trip as President of the United States out of the United States was to Mexico.  And my longstanding interest in this — in Mexico and Central America is well-known.

I firmly believe that the best policy for the United States is to pay attention to our friends, is to promote trade.  Trade produces liberty and freedom.  And sometimes in Washington, D.C., people cannot get rid of old habits — which is petty politics, Mr. President.  But that’s just what happens.  But people in America know that our administration is focused on what’s best for America.  And what’s best for America is a prosperous and peaceful El Salvador, y Mexico, y tambien los paises in Sur de America. There is a great opportunity for all of us to be equal partners, to work otros para todos los personas cual vida in nuestros paises.

Senor Presidente, gracias.  El honor es mio de esta in este pais.  (It has been my honor to be in this country.  Thank you very much.  We have to all work together to make this happen.)  (Applause.)

PRESIDENT FLORES:  I just wanted to say, just to close this conference, that El Salvador, through myself, wants to express their profound appreciation to the United States of America for having accompanied us in so many difficult times.  And this has to do with the leadership of President Bush.  And Salvadorans want to recognize you at this moment.

And I would like to end by saying this — and this is very personal. I have had some honors in my life, but never had I had such a high honor as President Bush calling me his friend.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)

March 22, 2002: Presidents Bush, Fox in Mexico, Joint Statement

President George W. Bush met with Mexican President Vicente Fox in Monterrey, Mexico, on March 22, 2002.

Presidents Bush and Fox made the following remarks at a press conference in the Palacio de Gobierno at 6:57 PM local time.

PRESIDENT FOX: Good afternoon. Thank you very much. Yes, in fact, it has been a very productive meeting, a meeting where we have touched upon three subjects, three chapters. One deals with what we have called the border alliance, more intelligent borders and the “smart border” initiative.

The purpose is, firstly, to introduce the safety factor and hold it as an important priority, and at the same time, with the same emphasis, to seek for efficient borders, customs that are efficient, as well, for an expeditious flow both of people, merchandise, products. And in this sense, what we seek is for those using these crossings, which are hundreds of thousands of people every day, to do so with that efficiency we are talking about.

Likewise, within this same sense, we talked about a program to modernize, technologically speaking, our borders. And this would promote that efficiency.

Among other points within this same category, we have also spoken about opening in airports that have high traffic, both in the United States and Mexico, a line to take care of the Mexicans and Canadians coming into Mexico, and in the case of Mexico, taking care of U.S. citizens and Canadian citizens.

The second topic is what we have called the Partnership for Prosperity, where there are plenty of topics, but the specific purpose is to generate opportunities for advancement, opportunities for income, and mainly, in communities with high migratory rates in Mexico. For this purpose, we have spoken of joining efforts to facilitate resources for micro, small and medium-sized companies who are the ones generating the highest number of jobs.

We have spoken of also working to bring down the cost of migrators’ remittances to their families in Mexico, and this way facilitating those resources becoming productive projects toward important generation of employment and opportunities.

We talked about important program of scholarships where, on the U.S. side, there will be investments up to $50 million, precisely to promote these scholarships and promote to the state level the creation of scholarships for universities. This is important in the purpose of creating, forming human resources.

And, on the other hand, we have also spoken of generating and facilitating resources for infrastructure, especially at the border, infrastructure for an efficient use of water, for water treatment plants, infrastructure for ecological or environmental purposes at the border, and some other investments in infrastructure along the same lines, the border.

On the other hand, I believe it is very significant, and we have talked about it again, to have this great drive that has been announced by President Bush at the Financing for Development Conference. And it’s the purpose to try to increase important resources for countries that are not as developed, for poorer countries.

We have heard from many leaders present, many heads of state, who truly expressed this was welcome information, a welcome announcement. And, of course, same goes for us. We are not a country to receive the help, but we clearly understand that there are countries who require this help to combat poverty very close to us, such as the case of Central America.

So we hope that these additional funds, I repeat, have been very welcome, well-received by the community of smaller countries present here. This time these same resources also, part of them, to be used in these countries of Latin America or Central America.

This effort of what has seemed to be called the participation in the Millennium, the Challenge of the Millennium, is important for us. And we have verified this importance it has for the community of countries.

Thank you. Now Mr. Bush will speak.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you for your hospitality and thank you for hosting the important Conference on Reducing Global Poverty. It was a success, thanks to your leadership and your vision.

I’m so glad that the world could see Monterrey, Mexico. It is a really dynamic city. It’s important for the world also to realize that, as a result of President Fox’s vision, this country is reforming. It’s a vibrant place; it’s an exciting place for people to live. People are finding jobs in Mexico.

And, Mr. President, I am grateful to call you friend. Thank you for your leadership, as well.

I try to remind people in my country as many times as I can, a vibrant, prosperous Mexico is in the best interests of the United States of America.

We were at the White House on September the 5th, and here’s what I said then. The United States has no more important relationship in the world than the one we have with Mexico. I believed it on September the 5th, I believe it today. And since September the 11th, those words have been tested and proven.

I deeply appreciate President Fox’s early support and his continuing advice. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the people of Mexico for their support and sympathy.

The relationship between the United States and Mexico is very strong, is very important, and it’s growing stronger every day. America respects Mexico’s culture, and Mexico’s achievements. By embracing markets and fiscal discipline, Mexico has created one of the most resilient economies in the region. And through NAFTA, our nations have forged one of the world’s most dynamic trading relationships.

Every day we exchange more than $650 million worth of commerce, creating wealth and opportunity for consumers and workers and families on both sides of the border. President Fox and I are determined to extend the benefits of free markets to all our citizens. As part of our Partnership for Prosperity, we’ll help focus private investment on less developed parts of Mexico, creating more jobs and more opportunities for more people.

President Fox and I are determined to make our shared border modern, efficient, and secure. The Smart Border Declaration our countries have just signed will move us toward this important goal. Our common border must be closed to drugs and terrorists, and open to trade and legitimate travel.

America is grateful for Mexico’s fight against the drug cartels, and I salute your many breakthroughs this year, Mr. President. President Fox and I talked about migration. Last year we established a process to address this issue. We’re making good and steady progress. Migrants make a valuable contribution to America.

It’s also important for our nation to recognize as we discuss immigration, Mexico has got a unique place in this issue. Mexico is different from other countries, not only because of our proximity, but because of our special relationship.

We made some progress this year on an issue called 245(i). It’s an important piece of legislation. It allowed families to stay together. It passed the House of Representatives. Unfortunately, it got stalled in the United States Senate. And my hope, Mr. President, is we’re able to get it out of the United States Senate and to my desk so I can sign it.

President Fox and I agreed on measures to reform the North American Development Bank, known as NAD Bank. We will increase the bank’s ability to make low interest loans to address urgent environmental priorities along the border. We also agreed to expand the bank’s range, so more people can benefit. Mexico and America are proud nations, united by timeless values: by democracy, by faith and by freedom. We have a modern relationship sustained by a mutual respect and trust.

We’ve entered a new era of trade and cooperation and prosperity. And the United States and Mexico are building an historic partnership, one which will benefit both our peoples and provide a good example for the rest of the world.

Q President Bush, have you or General Zinni heard anything from Chairman Arafat that indicates that a meeting between him and Vice President Cheney could help — Israeli- Palestinian troops? And honoring President Fox’s request that we focus on poverty over this summit, could I also ask you to explain why your administration is withholding the $34 million that Congress appropriated to the United Nations Population Fund — this year’s budget.

And, President Fox, do you have any thoughts on — administration’s decision on the United Nations Population Fund?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me start with the later. That violated the one-question rule, but — I said we’re not going to use taxpayers’ money to fund abortion. And we’re going to make sure before we spend taxpayers’ money that we’re not funding abortion.

And as to your first question, as I have said all along, General Zinni will assess the situation in the Middle East. And a meeting could happen if and when Chairman Arafat performs — does what he’s supposed to do. Those conditions have been laid out by Vice President Cheney. And now General Zinni is trying to determine whether or not he is going to do what he said he would do.

PRESIDENT FOX: The second question, what is the question to me?

Q Your reaction to President Bush’s decision to withhold $34 million from the United Nations Population Fund and their family planning work around the world.

PRESIDENT FOX: None. No comment. His decision is totally independent. No comment from my side.

Q My question concerns both Mexico and the United States in a way. President Bush, the Cuban government claims that President Fidel Castro’s early departure from the summit is a result of pressures from your government. And, Mr. President, I want to know if you really would have felt uncomfortable to encounter Fidel Castro here in Monterrey?

And for President Fox, Mr. President, what is the relationship between Mexico and Cuba now after Ricardo Alarcon made the government of Mexico responsible for President Castro’s early departure?

PRESIDENT BUSH: First of all, I know of no pressure placed on anybody. I mean, Fidel Castro can do what he wants to do. And what I’m uncomfortable about is the way he treats his people. There’s only one country that’s not a democracy in our hemisphere, and that’s Cuba. And it makes me uncomfortable to realize that there is still one country that doesn’t have free press, freedom to speak, freedom to realize your dreams. And I feel strongly about that, and I’m going to continue to speak out on the fact that this island is a place of repression, a place where the people don’t have hope.

Q Did you pressure anybody?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I don’t know what you’re talking about, about pressuring anybody. I just said that.

PRESIDENT FOX: There has been no modification in our relationships. We said good-bye to Mr. Fidel Castro. His visit ended. And there is no modification or alteration.

Q Mr. President, President Bush, are you prepared to offer Peru new military assistance to help crack down on terrorism in the wake of the bombing in Lima? And is it time to resume drug surveillance —

PRESIDENT BUSH: On the drug surveillance issue, we have yet — not made up our mind yet. We’re analyzing not only what took place in the past, but the most effective way to help Peru fight narcotics.

The first part of the question? I’m sorry, Steve.

Q Helping Peru with terrorism with new military assistance.

PRESIDENT BUSH: We’re going to analyze all options available to help Peru. But the first place we need to help Peru is to get the Andean Trade Preference Act out of the U.S. Congress. One of the messages I’m taking to not only Peru, but the other Andean nations, is ATPA is important — it’s important to my administration, it’s important to their future, and I’d like to see it renewed as quickly as possible.

Q Thank you. Good afternoon. The Cuban government says that the Mexican government was pressured. The Mexican government said they had no pressure. Who is lying, Mr. President Fox? Who is lying, Mr. President Bush? The Cubans or the Mexicans? Thank you.

PRESIDENT BUSH: I thought I just answered that question. (Laughter.) Maybe I missed it — or you did. (Laughter.)

PRESIDENT FOX: There is no such thing. Mr. Fidel Castro visited Mexico, visited the conference, the U.N. conference. He was here, he participated in the conference and he returned to Cuba; nothing more.

Q President Bush, good evening. During his recent trip to the Middle East, the Vice President made it very clear that at each stop he told our Arab allies that no military action against Iraq was imminent. Isn’t it also true that this administration is telling our allies, Arab allies and others around the world, that this government is, however, committed — as committed to removing Saddam Hussein from power as the administration was for removing the Taliban?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me put it to you this way, David — what we’re telling our friends is that Saddam Hussein is a man who is willing to gas his own people, willing to use weapons of mass destruction again Iraq citizens. Evidently, there’s a new article in the New York magazine or New Yorker magazine — some East Coast magazine — and it details about his barbaric behavior toward his own people. And not only did he do it to his own people, he did it to people in his neighborhood. And this is a man who refuses to allow us to determine whether or not he still has weapons of mass destruction, which leads me to believe he does.

He is a dangerous man who possesses the world’s most dangerous weapons. And it is incumbent upon freedom-loving nations to hold him accountable, which is precisely what the United States of America will do.

I haven’t had a chance to explain this to our Mexican friends, but a nightmare scenario, of course, would be if a terrorist organization, such as al Qaeda were to link up with a barbaric regime such as Iraq and, thereby, in essence, possess weapons of mass destruction. We cannot allow that to happen.

And so, David, what I’ve told others, including President Fox, is we have no imminent plans to use military operations. We’ll be deliberate; we’ll consult with our friends and allies. But we’ll deal with Saddam Hussein. And he knows that. And this is exactly what I’ve been saying ever since I’ve been the President.

Q Does that mean you will remove him —

PRESIDENT BUSH: As I said, yes, we’d like to see a regime change in Iraq. That’s been the longstanding policy of the U.S. government. Nothing is new there. That’s precisely what has been said since I became President of the United States. But close consultations with our friends from all around the world — and they — I think people have got a pretty good sense of how I view him. And I hope that, of course, he allows inspectors to go into his country, like he promised he would do. Not for he sake of letting inspectors in, but to showing the world that he has no weapons of mass destruction.

Q Good evening, Mr. President, if truly your government has contemplated some date about the migratory agreement with Mexico? And also here at the Forum there was something from former President Carter for amnesty for 3 million Mexican workers in the U.S. Your government would consider legalizing them, or are you saying no?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I think the best way to describe what is possible in the United States is that beyond 245(i), which is the family reunification, is, first of all, understanding the unique nature of the Mexican in our country; that the Mexican national is different by virtue of the fact of the proximity to the United States, and that we do have a special relationship between our countries, not only defined by NAFTA, but defined by cultural ties and historic ties. And so I think that ought to be a part of any discussions.

But here’s my attitude. I think what our country ought to do is help match any willing employer with any willing employee, so that if somebody is looking for somebody who wants to work and somebody wants to work, we can facilitate that arrangement.

And we’ve got a lot of discussions and work to do. But what I’ve assured President Fox and his administration is that we will continue working on this issue. We’ve got technical groups working on it and he and I will continue working on it.

PRESIDENT FOX: Thank you very much. Good evening.

President Bush made the following remarks at a dinner at the Museo de Contemporaneo in Monterrey, Mexico, at 8:00 PM local time.

PRESIDENT BUSH:  Senor Presidente, Martha, Gobernador, distinguished guests, Laura and I thank you for this dinner.  And thank you for inviting us to Monterrey, a city that is home to so much of Mexico’s industry and enterprise, and a city that embodies Mexico’s prosperous future.

Monterrey has hosted a number of U.S. Presidents over the years, mi Papa, President Clinton, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt.  When Presidents Camacho y Roosevelt met here in April of 1943, they affirmed our two nation’s World War II alliance and agreed to closer economic cooperation.  Today, we meet with a similar purpose.  We affirm our shared struggle against terror, and we work to promote the great alternatives to terror, prosperity and freedom and hope.

President Fox, I deeply appreciate your friendship and counsel, especially since September the 11th.  And the people of the United States are grateful for your visit to Ground Zero in New York to honor the victims.  And the world appreciates Mexico’s support for the international coalition against terrorism.  The terrorists have declared war on civilization itself, and the civilized world will defeat them.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Laura and I used to live right next door to Mexico.  During that time, I saw the steady emergence of a more confident and more hopeful nation.  I saw the strong and growing ties of culture and trade and kinship between our countries.  Mr. President, your election symbolized these changes and has reinforced them.  You’re a true patriot with a compelling vision for a stronger and more prosperous Mexico.

I tell the people of my country that a strong and prosperous Mexico is good for the United States.  We’re working well together, and I am confident our important work is just the beginning.  We will build on the success of the North American Free Trade Agreement, to expand the benefits of trade and markets to all of our people.

We can build on our political cooperation to make real progress on drug trafficking, environmental protection.  And we will build a border that is more open and more secure.  And we will confront the issue of migration in a spirit of mutual respect.

The Mexican proverb tells us, Tenemos mal los momentos, es cuando se conocen al los amigos.  (Applause.)

Senor Presidente, the United States knows who our friends are, and your enduring friendship allows me — causes me to say muchas gracias. Today, we have a relationship of unprecedented closeness and cooperation. By continuing to work together, we can improve the lives of the people in our two nations, in our hemisphere and in our world.

Mr. President, I offer a toast to you, your gracious wife, and the great friendship between our two countries.

(A toast was offered.)

Presidents Bush and Fox released the following joint statement on March 22, 2002.

Our meeting today was a valuable opportunity to celebrate the strength and vitality of the U.S.-Mexican bilateral partnership over the past year, and discuss our priorities for the year ahead.

Our two nations have developed a historic level of trust and mutual respect, strengthened by common values and purposes, that has facilitated an unprecedented degree of bilateral cooperation over the past year. It is a high national priority of both nations to continue building on that cooperation over the coming years and harnessing it for the achievement of the important goals of economic and social development, security, and rule of law that are essential to both countries’ wellbeing.

In this context, we agreed that the international campaign to eradicate terrorism requires us to address pressing new priorities and shared goals central to defending our societies and ways of life. At the same time, we recognized that the events of September 11 underscore more than ever the importance of the U.S.-Mexican relationship, as partners and neighbors, in the attainment of those goals and in realizing the vision we have set forth for our countries’ future. Hence, we reviewed what we are doing together to create a “smart border” for the 21st century. We will build a border that protects our societies against those who would do us harm, and that truly serves the human and economic needs of our dynamic relationship. We share a vision of a modern border that speeds the legitimate flow of people and commerce, and filters out all that threatens our safety and prosperity.

The “smart border” declaration and action plan we have just adopted sets out a series of specific steps we will take to move concretely toward that vision. The twenty-point action plan comprises measures that will enhance the secure flow of goods and people, and build a modern and efficient infrastructure that keeps pace with commerce. We intend to monitor this process closely to ensure the fastest possible implementation of these and other steps on which we may agree. Both governments will work expeditiously to prioritize infrastructure investment needs and cooperate to identify funding sources.

Slightly more than one year ago, in Guanajuato, we talked about migration as one of the major ties that join our societies. We launched then the frankest and most productive dialogue our countries have ever had on this important and challenging subject. Those talks have continued over the past year, and have yielded a clearer assessment of the scope and nature of this issue. This bond between our nations can render countless benefits to our respective economies and families. Over the past year, important progress has been made to enhance migrant safety and particularly in saving lives by discouraging and reducing illegal crossings in dangerous terrain.

On September 7, 2001, during President Fox’s historic State Visit to Washington, we issued a joint statement instructing our cabinet-level working group to provide us with specific proposals to forge a new and realistic framework that will ensure a safe, legal, orderly, and dignified migration flow between our countries. We have today agreed that our Cabinet level migration group should continue the work we charged it with in Guanajuato and Washington.

When we first met as Presidents, we described our shared vision to help unfetter the economic potential of every citizen, so each may contribute fully to narrowing the economic gaps between and within our societies. To help implement that vision, we launched the “Partnership for Prosperity.” The Partnership seeks to leverage private resources to create jobs and promote prosperity in less developed areas of Mexico. Today, we welcomed the Partnership’s action plan of concrete and innovative initiatives on housing, agriculture, infrastructure, remittances, communications, development financing and information technologies. Some examples include:

  • Lowering the cost to Mexicans and Mexican-Americans in the United States of sending money home so that their families get to keep more of their hard-earned wages;
  • Increasing the accessibility of capital to Mexican entrepreneurs so that they can grow their businesses and create more and better jobs.
  • Increasing investment in housing, and the creation of a secondary mortgage market, so more Mexicans can become homeowners.

Our aim is to foster economic development so that no Mexican feels compelled to leave his or her home for a lack of a job or opportunity. While achieving the Partnership’s goals will require time and persistent effort, the initial steps detailed in this report will build a strong foundation for long-term success. We will closely follow implementation of these promising steps. We are confident that the high level officials we have tasked with turning our vision into reality will produce results that will make us both proud and benefit both our countries.

We commend the ongoing success of the Training, Internship, Education and Scholarship program (TIES), designed to support the Partnership for Prosperity by enhancing conditions for sustained development in Mexico. Over the next five years this $50 million initiative is expected to implement 35 partnerships between Mexican and U.S. higher education institutions and to provide hundreds of scholarships for undergraduate exchanges and graduate studies in the United States.

When we met in Washington in September we talked about the importance of addressing urgent environmental priorities on the border. After a series of discussions with border states, the local communities, and other stakeholders, our binational working group has finalized a series of specific recommendations to strengthen the performance of the North American Development Bank (NADBank), and its sister institution the Border Environmental Cooperation Commission (BECC).

As these institutions continue to work on urgent environmental infrastructure priorities in the border areas, both governments will work with their legislatures to make the recommendations a reality. The recommendations include measures to make financing more affordable, expand the geographic scope on the Mexican side of the border in which projects can be financed, replacing the two institutions’ separate boards of directors with a single board to oversee their work, and facilitate efforts to work with and co-finance environmental projects with the private sector.

Cooperation against organized crime remains a cornerstone of the bilateral agenda. We acknowledged major successes achieved by Mexico in the fight against narco-trafficking. We agreed on the importance of redoubling judicial cooperation aimed at bolstering the rule of law in both countries and strengthening our ability to ensure the safety of our citizens.

We also reviewed regional political issues of interest to both countries, including sharing assessments of the situations in Argentina, Colombia, Cuba and Venezuela.

We have consulted frequently, as friends and neighbors, over the past six months as we have sought to advance a vision of growing partnership aimed at increasing prosperity, greater economic convergence between our two economies, raising living standards, and ensuring the security of both societies. Our commitment to this fundamental agenda, and to the importance of our partnership, is stronger than ever. We will continue our close and productive dialogue in the months and years ahead as we take full advantage of the great opportunities before our two nations.

March 23, 2002: Presidents Bush and Toledo in Peru

Presidents George W. Bush and Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo delivered the following remarks at a joint press availability at 6:00 PM EST in the Presidential Palace in Lima, Peru, on March 23, 2002.

PRESIDENT TOLEDO: This is an historic visit made by a friend representing a country with which we have had an historical relationship. It is not merely a diplomatic visit, it is an official working visit and we have touched on substantive issues, which range from the open struggle against poverty, a war without quarter against terrorism and drug trafficking. I repeat, a war with no ambiguities whatsoever, against terrorism and drug trafficking.

We’ve touched on issues of trade, education, even the Peace Corps. But, my friend, George Bush, this Peru is a country that welcomes you with open arms. We are renewing our friendship and this is the beginning of a new era in the relationship between Peru and the United States. And I’m extremely happy that the two of us are able to begin this relationship.

President George W. Bush and Peruvian president Alejandro Toledo (right) wave from the steps of the Presidential Palace in Lima, Peru, March 23, 2002. "It is an honor for me to be the first sitting President of the United States to visit Peru," said President Bush during the two leaders' joint press conference where he explained that steps such as reintroducing the Peace Corps to Peru are being taken to strengthen the relationship between America and Peru.

I know you seem younger than I am, but we are both 55 years old. And we have a long way ahead of us to work together. I know that we both have the energy and the stubbornness, particularly with regard to the issue of terrorism and drug trafficking, because your country, just like mine, loves peace. It appreciates life. And we are united on this. And as of today, we have a strategic alliance of hope for the future.

My friend, welcome to my country.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Gracias, Senor Presidente. It is an honor for me to be the first sitting President of the United States to visit Peru. I want to thank you for the invitation. It’s a greater honor for Laura and me to come here as guests of a leader who symbolizes Peru’s revitalization.

President Toledo and I have now met three times. At each meeting I’ve been impressed by his commitment to democracy and his determination to improve the lives of the people of Peru. Peru is on the path toward greater freedom and greater prosperity, and America will be the partner in this progress, Mr. President.

Earlier today, our two governments signed an agreement that will reintroduce the Peace Corps to Peru, after an absence of nearly 30 years. The first volunteers will arrive in August, a symbol of the stronger ties between our people and the stronger relationship between our nations.

This relationship is based on common values and common interests. Our nations understand that political and economic progress depends on security — and that security is impossible in a world with terrorists. Peruvians have been reminded again this week of the terrible human toll of terror. On behalf of the people of the United States, I express our deep sympathy for the victims of the recent bombing and our deep sympathy for their loved ones.

President Toledo and I share a common perspective on terrorism: We must stop it. Since September the 11th, Peru has taken the lead in rallying our hemisphere to take strong action against this common threat. And I want to thank the President for his leadership and his strong support.

Our nations understand that freedom is only as strong as the institutions protecting it. The United States is actively supporting the President’s efforts to strengthen Peru’s democratic foundations. And we will continue to support the work of Peru’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which is helping correct the abuses of the past and set the course for a better future.

President Toledo and I both understand the importance of providing economic opportunity to all our citizens as a hopeful alternative to the drug trade. We discussed ways to make the assistance that the United States provides under the Andean Regional Initiative more effective. And I emphasized to the President my commitment to renew and extend the Andean Trade Preferences Act. The United States House of Representatives has moved this legislation. It is stuck in the Senate, and I urge the Senate to act.

President Toledo and I have agreed to renew discussions on a bilateral investment treaty, and to complete a debt-for-nature agreement, to help Peru reduce debt payments while it protects its biodiversity.

I also informed the President that Secretary of Commerce Don Evans will lead a trade mission to Peru and the Andean region later this year. By building these ties of commerce, both our nations create more jobs, more investment, and more benefits for workers and consumers.

President Toledo and I believe that education is the key to participation in the global economy. The President’s own path in life is a lesson in how education opens up doors to opportunity. He is passionate on the subject. I love his passion, and I appreciate his commitment.

And I’m pleased to announce that our country will help establish an Andean Center of Excellence for Teacher Training, with a base here in Peru. The center will support President Toledo’s goal of quality schools with quality teachers, that give more Peruvians the literacy and learning they need to succeed.

I’ve also directed the U.S. Commerce Department, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, to establish an Andean e-business fellowship program, to give more high-tech professionals from this region the chance to learn more about information technology.

President Toledo and I have a strong relationship. I’m inspired by his life, I’m inspired by his story, I’m inspired by his leadership. I’m impressed by Peru’s progress and I’m very confident of Peru’s future.

Thank you, sir. (Applause.)

Q Mr. President —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Which one? (Laughter.)

Q You, sir. Given increasing evidence that the FARC is now operating in Peru, will you be willing to provide President Toledo extra assistance in fighting the war against terrorism here, should he ask for it? And are you concerned that what was once a regional problem in Colombia or something restricted to Colombia is now spreading across Colombia’s border and threatening its neighbors?

PRESIDENT BUSH: We discussed the neighborhood at length today. President Toledo told me that he is — now that he’s done a very good job, or the country’s done a good job, of making sure that relations with neighbors, north and south, are peaceful, that he is moving troops and making decisions to prevent terrorists from coming into his country from Colombia. And we will help him in this effort. That’s part of the reason why I’m here — is to support our mutual desire to fight terror and to help this good democracy thrive.

Later on today we’ll be talking with Presidents from — and one Vice President, from the Andean nations. And we’ll be discussing our common desire to prevent terrorist groups like the FARC from holding people and nations hostage. And I’m absolutely convinced, having talked to the President three times, that he will do everything in his power to rout out terror, not let it take hold, and preserve the institutions that make Peru a beacon for democracy.

Q — (inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TOLEDO: No, the evidence that we have is — I repeat, the evidence that we have indicates that there is no transfer of the FARC into Peru. However, we are adopting every measure possible. The Minister of Defense was at the border very recently. We took our bases that were along the border with Ecuador — where, after signing the peace agreement, there is no need for their presence — we removed them as a precautionary measure over to the border with Colombia.

As President Bush just indicated, this is a joint task. What happens to Colombia affects us, and vice versa. But here, too, we’re partners. And I think that the issues that have to do with the Andean community are issues on which President Bush is extremely interested and I’m sure that we will be working together on these. We are going to work together on this; I’m sure of that.

Q President Bush, you granted an audience recently to my daily, El Comercio, at the White House, and you said in that interview that Peru, for the United States, is not only a friend, but an ally. I’d like to ask you, beyond trade preferences and the commitment to struggle against drug trafficking, what will be the major elements in your administration that would highlight this different relationship you want to have with Peru? For example, would you open up an antechamber, so to speak, for Peru to come into a free trade agreement negotiation with the United States?

And let me ask President Toledo, with regard to the issue of shared responsibility in the fight against drug trafficking, would you take on the commitment before President Bush to establish a control office that would monitor whatever the United States does not comply with?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I listed quite a few things in my opening remarks about our relationship. I believe strongly that if we promote trade, and when we promote trade, it will help workers on both sides of this issue — it will help Peruvian workers, help U.S. workers.

The Andean Trade Preference Act is a cornerstone of good policy, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s a cornerstone of good relations. We talked about a treaty on investment; that could be the beginning of a trade treaty. The President brought it up. He asked whether or not we would consider it. I said we’ll take it back and discuss the issue when I get back to Washington, D.C.

There’s nothing more important than fostering good economic relations. I mean, the best way for people to get lifted out of poverty is a job. And the best way to encourage jobs is through trade.

I mean, what we’re beginning to realize in the world is development aid is important, but development aid pales in comparison to the amount of capital that’s generated through trade in the marketplace, in the private sector. And countries that open markets and countries that trade freely are countries where the people are more likely to be able to succeed. And I would not discount the importance of our relationship when it comes to fighting terror.

The world has called us to action. This is a new era. We’re fighting a new kind of war. And we’re strong allies in that war. And when we win, our peoples will be better off. You can’t alleviate poverty if there’s terror in your neighborhood. It’s impossible to achieve what we want if terrorists run free.

And so I think one of the best things we can do to lay the foundation for a better tomorrow is to be tough and firm and not yield to threat. And that’s exactly the way the President feels, and I can assure you that’s the way I feel.

PRESIDENT TOLEDO: I think that in the war against drug trafficking and terrorism, we are partners, not simply through conviction, my good friend, but because we, ourselves, have experienced it. We have experienced the effects of terrorism here for 20 years. The United States, on September 11th. And I have here my friend, Colin Powell, with whom we have a very solid human relationship because, in this very palace, we were witnesses to the news of September 11th, while we were having breakfast.

On this issue we are partners. I am stubborn. I am stubborn and I believe it is not incompatible to respect the law and to be strong-handed with regard to the issue of terrorism and drug trafficking.

I do know there’s been a decision from the U.S. government to increase support for the struggle against drug trafficking, and I appreciate that enormously. We still have a long road ahead to walk together in this struggle, but we will do it.

And, Mr. Journalist, I want to underscore something that was referred to by President Bush. Trade preferences is an issue on which President Bush has demonstrated — and I am a witness — his will for congressional approval in the United States. The separation of powers makes it impossible for Presidents to control congresses — just like I don’t control mine. But that’s the way democracy works.

Nonetheless, we have gone beyond Andean Trade Preferences. I have asked of President Bush that he consider an initiative for trade, for bilateral trade and investment within the framework of the Andean community. And we are going to be talking to our colleagues in just a few minutes.

I think it’s important because trade is a synonym for work. And work is a way to deal with poverty. Through work, education and health, we can eradicate poverty. We are partners on the issue of trade, on the issue of drug trafficking and terrorism, in the defense of democracy and of human rights, my friend — human rights.

Q Mr. President, the Peruvians have expressed an urgent desire for the resumption of U.S. drug interdiction flights in Peruvian airspace. You told us yesterday in Monterrey that the issue was under rigorous review. My question to you, sir, is it your ultimate goal to see a resumption of those flights? And what preconditions would you put on those flights before authorizing resumption?

And for President Toledo, if I could, sir, if you are to expect a maximum effort at a partnership with the United States to eradicate drug trafficking, why won’t you make the same commitment to coca eradication as your neighbors, Bolivia, have? You’ve talked a lot about the problem being drug trafficking, but you have not made the same commitment on coca production, sir.

PRESIDENT BUSH: John, we are reviewing all avenues toward an effective policy of interdiction. As you know, we had a terrible situation where a young mom and her daughter lost their life; that caused us to step back to take a look at our policy at home, and then to work with the Peruvian government to figure out how best to be effective at interdicting drugs.

And so the discussions are ongoing. And we want to make sure that when we work with countries like Peru, that we achieve the common objective, which is to make it hard for those narco-traffickers to move through their airspace, across their land, or in oceans.

I want to say something about — there’s a lot of talk about interdiction, and there should be. And there’s a lot of talk about battling the narco-traffickers here in the Andean area, and we will. But our country has an obligation, as well, not only to provide support and help. The President mentioned that we have expanded the direct aid to Peru on this issue, which we have. We’ve tripled it, up to about $200 million — about $195 million, I think it is. But the best thing that America needs to do is reduce demand for drugs. We’ve got to do a better job of convincing our own country to quit using them. As demand for drugs goes down, it will take the pressure off of our friends in Peru.

So we’ve got a double obligation, it seems like to me — on the one hand, to provide help and aid that’s effective and will work. And that’s exactly what we spent a long time talking about, in all three of our meetings. But I want to remind our Peruvian friends that we’ve got to do a better job at home of convincing Americans to stop using drugs. And part of our drug initiative will be to focus on the demand side. Less demand for drugs will mean that the supply for drugs will be less urgent. And that will in turn help the region.

PRESIDENT TOLEDO: Look, my friend, let me deal with your question head on. In 1990, the number of hectares with coca cultivation was approximately 140,000 total. Today, we are down to 34,000 hectares where we have coca cultivation. Enormous progress has been made.

I know it’s not enough. We have a long path ahead of us yet. And we have to do this together. I know that the drug traffickers have become more sophisticated over time — they have more high-tech capabilities. And now we, too, have to push forward in that direction.

I want to be very open, and I apologize to my friend, President Bush, now. We are not fighting against drug trafficking in order to satisfy the United States or Europe. Drug trafficking, in partnership with terrorism, is an issue of national security. It’s an issue of national security. On Wednesday, they killed nine people — nine of our brothers and sisters — and there are 30 people wounded. I have publicly stated — and I want to repeat this — we are not going to let this stand.

So let me respond to you. We have met a substantial reduction. We still have 34,000 hectares to go. But we are going to do this together.

Final point. I think President Bush is extremely sincere — he’s extremely sincere and honest when he recognizes that as long as there is a demand out there, there will be a supply. As long as there are consumers, there will be producers. And so, together, we need to work on reducing the number of consumers, cure them better, make them better. And we need to reduce the amount of hectares under cultivation.

And, footnote here, it’s also true that the statistics indicate that although levels are still low, there is an increase in the consumption of cocaine among youth in Peru. And that is also part of our concern with regard to national security.

Q President Bush, you are in a region now that’s been devastated by terrorism and subversion and drug trafficking for over three decades. You’re offering us the Peace Corps. I would ask you if you’re willing, as President of the most powerful nation on Earth, to lead a Marshall Plan for South America?

PRESIDENT BUSH: I appreciate that. I think I said more than just the Peace Corps, if I’m not mistaken, in my opening comments. Obviously, our nation is committed to this part of the world. I’ve come to Peru as the first sitting President to express our solidarity with Peru and the people, as well as express my appreciation for a reformer who got elected who’s willing to defend the institutions that make democracy go.

I’ll repeat if you’d like me to, go through the litany of things I just said — the Andean Trade Preference Act, the bilateral action on investment, money for education, money to fight drugs. We’ve tripled the amount of money — I believe it’s from $50 million up to $195 million available. And so I think our commitment is — I think our commitment speaks for itself. And I appreciate so very much the chance to come and explain it to the Peruvian people that ours is more than just words — ours is deeds and action.

Q Good afternoon, President Bush. Buenos tardes, Senor Presidente. President Bush, many lawmakers in Congress are growing increasingly concerned about your policy in the Middle East, wondering if the very talk of potential high-level negotiations involving Vice President Cheney, specifically, with the Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, might not, in fact, send a signal that terrorism against Israeli civilians can achieve some limited political aims. I’d to ask you, sir, why you’re contemplating that, and why those who wonder if that is not the case are incorrect?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, first of all, I think there’s been no question that the United States has stood strong with Israel. And we’ve made it very clear to Mr. Arafat that he is not — he’s not doing all he can do to fight off terror. I can’t be any more clear than that. Vice President Cheney said, depending upon on the Zinni mission and General Zinni’s recommendation, he might go back, if and when Arafat performs.

Surely those in the Congress you talk about appreciate the fact that the administration is engaged, and sent General Zinni into the region. We laid out the Tenet plan, which is the way to bring some security to the region — which would then lead to the Mitchell plan. And we’re doing everything in our power to get the parties into Tenet. And we’ll continue working hard to get them to Tenet.

Q Even if the violence continues —

PRESIDENT BUSH: If and when — if and when Mr. Arafat — if and when —

Q — (inaudible) —

PRESIDENT BUSH: Excuse me. If and when Chairman Arafat performs. That’s what we have said. General Zinni went to the Middle East; he’s leading discussions. But people shouldn’t mistake our desire to get into Tenet as anything more than a desire to get to peace. And we’ll continue working to do so.

And Prime Minister Sharon knows where the United States stands. We’re strong allies with Israel. We have been ever since I’ve been the President, and we’ll continue to be strong allies with Israel.

Q Good afternoon to both Presidents. President Bush, just a few days ago I was able to ask you in Washington about leadership in the fight against poverty. And on this, aside from the issue of being 55 and the fact that you’re wearing the same color ties, you are in agreement with President Alejandro Toledo, who also insists on fighting against poverty. But the fight against poverty presupposes — and this has been stated by Dr. Toledo — thinking of reducing arms in Latin America, because for every tank or F-16, we could buy a lot more schools. Mr. President, I’d like to know your views on this, and the views of President Toledo with regard to this issue. The possibility of arms control in the South American part of the hemisphere. And the same question for President Toledo.

PRESIDENT BUSH: We may be the same age, but el tiene pelo negro. (Laughter.) Yo tengo pelo gris. (Laughter.)

I appreciate President Toledo’s work to have a security arrangement in place in the neighborhood amongst the countries bordering Peru that will then allow him to reinvest in education. We talked about that. And I think that is a strong commitment and a wise commitment.

As far as my country’s commitment goes, I gave a speech in Monterrey, Mexico, two days ago where I committed our country to a 50-percent increase in development aid. But I said it’s time for the world to stop looking at inputs and to focus on outputs, and that the United States, developed nations, must do more financially. And we’re leading the way.

But we expect other nations to develop the habits that will lead to a better opportunity for their people: rule of law, a focus on education, and good health care. President Toledo understands that, he’s been a leader in that effort. And I think what I said in Monterrey was very important, that unless we all focus on how programs benefit people directly, not matter what the efforts or strategy is, it’s likely to lead to failure. But programs and policies that understand the worth of each human being, that each individual matters, are those programs which will be successful. And so our country will try to foster that. And this President has made that commitment, for which I am grateful.

PRESIDENT TOLEDO: Aside from the fact that President Bush has very good taste with regard to color in ties — (laughter) — he’s also taller than I am. (Laughter.)

On this issue, Raul, of military expenditure, we discussed it with him. And here I want to strike a difference between military expenses for armed conflicts between countries, and military expenditures for defense against terrorism and drug trafficking, because these are two separate issues.

I think that there is a major challenge in the world in order to survive in this globalized and savagely competitive world we live in. We need to invest more in the minds of our people. Basically, what this means is investing more in nutrition, health, education, and justice for the poor.

We won’t be able to deal with the challenges of this globalized world unless we invest in the knowledge of our societies. The question immediately arises, and obviously so, in an economy that is growing that is overcoming recession, where you get the money to invest in nutrition, health and education? Well, we’ve made an appeal to countries at the bilateral level. And there the United States has played a very generous role at the donors table in Madrid. And I want to publicly express my appreciation, Mr. President.

There has been debt conversion, external bilateral debt swap, for social investment. And there we have been able to get a commitment of about $1 billion. This is one way to establish a financial space to invest in health, nutrition and education.

The other thing is that I believe it makes no sense in this world that as long as we have a country with 54 percent of Peruvians who live below the poverty line, or 16 percent who live below the dire poverty line — when I was born, the very first minute of my life when I opened my eyes, I saw the face of dire poverty. I know what this means. That’s why I am convinced that we can make an effort to reduce military spending, to reorient those resources towards investment and justice and education and health. Because the defense of a country no longer depends on how many tanks, or ships, or aircraft we have. It’s all about how strong our economy is, how educated our people are.

And please excuse me for being so passionate on this subject, but there is absolutely no doubt on this. And the empirical evidence is very harsh with regard to the return on investment on education and health and nutrition for our people.

And here, once again, we have another point of coincidence that leads us down the same path together. I conveyed something that’s very close to my heart with regard to the Huascaran education program, and I asked our friend to support us on this. And I will be going to New York, and I’m going to talk to Mr. Bill Gates, to try to promote the Huascaran project even more. But if we reduce military spending, we’re going to have some financial leeway to reorient this money towards the poor, who want to overcome poverty — who want freedom. And we’ll be able to deal with the challenges of the future even better.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.

December 7, 1903: Message Regarding Treaty with Panama

President Theodore Roosevelt delivered the following speech on December 7, 1903.

To the Senate:

I transmit for the advice and consent of the Senate to its ratification a convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Panama for the construction of a ship canal, etc., to connect the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, signed on November 18, 1903.

I also inclose a report from the Secretary of State submitting the convention for my consideration.


Washington , November 19, 1903.


The undersigned, Secretary of State, has the honor to lay before the President for his consideration, and, if his judgment approve thereof, for submission to the Senate, with a view to receiving the advice and consent of that body to its ratification, a convention between the United States of America and the Republic of Panama for the construction of a ship canal, etc., to connect the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, signed by the respective plenipotentiaries of the two countries on November 18, 1903.
Respectfully submitted,


The United States of America and the Republic of Panama being desirous to insure the construction of a ship canal across the Isthmus of Panama to connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and the Congress of the United States of America having passed an act approved June 28, 1902, in furtherance of that object, by which the President of the United States is authorized to acquire within a reasonable time the control of the necessary territory of the Republic of Colombia, and the sovereignty of such territory being actually vested in the Republic of Panama, the high contracting parties have resolved for that purpose to conclude a convention, and have accordingly appointed as their plenipotentiaries–
The President of the United States of America, John Hay, Secretary of State, and
The Government of the Republic of Panama, Philippe Bunau-Varilla, envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary of the Republic of Panama, thereunto specially empowered by said Government, who, after communicating with each other their respective full powers, found to be in good and due form, have agreed upon and concluded the following articles:


The United States guarantees and will maintain the independence of the Republic of Panama.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation and control of a zone of land and land under water for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of said canal of the width of 10 miles, extending to the distance of 5 miles on each side of the center line of the route of the canal to be constructed, the said zone beginning in the Caribbean Sea 3 marine miles from mean low-water mark and extending to and across the Isthmus of Panama into the Pacific Ocean to a distance of 3 marine miles from mean low-water mark, with the proviso that the cities of Panama and Colon and the harbors adjacent to said cities, which are included within the boundaries of the zone above described, shall not be included within this grant.

The Republic of Panama further grants to the United States in perpetuity the use, occupation, and control of any other lands and waters outside of the zone above described which may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said canal or of any auxiliary canals or other works necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said enterprise.

The Republic of Panama further grants in like manner to the United States in perpetuity all islands within the limits of the zone above described and in addition thereto the group of small islands in the Bay of Panama, named Perico, Naos, Culebra, and Flamenco.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all the rights, power, and authority within the zone mentioned and described in Article II of this agreement and within the limits of all auxiliary lands and waters mentioned and described in said Article II which the United States would possess and exercise if it were the sovereign of the territory within which said lands and waters are located to the entire exclusion of the exercise by the Republic of Panama of any sovereign rights, power, or authority.


As rights subsidiary to the above grants the Republic of Panama grants in perpetuity to the United States the right to use the rivers, streams, lakes, and other bodies of water within its limits for navigation, the supply of water or water power, or other purposes, so far as the use of said rivers, streams, lakes, and bodies of water and the waters thereof may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said canal.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States in perpetuity a monopoly for the construction, maintenance, and operation of any system of communication by means of canal or railroad across its territory between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean.


The grants herein contained shall in no manner invalidate the titles or rights of private land holders or owners of private property in the said zone or in or to any of the lands or waters granted to the United States by the provisions of any article of this treaty, nor shall they interfere with the rights of way over the public roads passing through the said zone or over any of the said lands or waters unless said rights of way or private rights shall conflict with rights herein granted to the United States, in which case the rights of the United States shall be superior.

All damages caused to the owners of private lands or private property of any kind by reason of the grants contained in this treaty or by reason of the operations of the United States, its agents or employees, or by reason of the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said canal or of the works of sanitation and protection herein provided for, shall be appraised and settled by a joint commission appointed by the Governments of the United States and of the Republic of Panama, whose decisions as to such damages shall be final, and whose awards as to such damages shall be paid solely by the United States. No part of the work on said canal or the Panama Railroad or on any auxiliary works relating thereto and authorized by the terms of this treaty shall be prevented, delayed, or impeded by or pending such proceedings to ascertain such damages. The appraisal of said private lands and private property and the assessment of damages to them shall be based upon their value before the date of this convention.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States within the limits of the cities of Panama and Colon and their adjacent harbors and within the territory adjacent thereto the right to acquire, by purchase or by the exercise of the right of eminent domain, any lands, buildings, water rights, or other properties necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, and protection of the canal and of any works of sanitation, such as the collection and disposition of sewage and the distribution of water in the said cities of Panama and Colon, which, in the discretion of the United States, may be necessary and convenient for the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the said canal and railroad.

All such works of sanitation, collection, and disposition of sewage and distribution of water in the cities of Panama and Colon shall be made at the expense of the United States, and the Government of the United States, its agents or nominees, shall be authorized to impose and collect water rates and sewerage rates which shall be sufficient to provide for the payment of interest and the amortization of the principal of the cost of said works within a period of fifty years, and upon the expiration of said term of fifty years the system of sewers and waterworks shall revert to and become the properties of the cities of Panama and Colon, respectively, and the use of the water shall be free to the inhabitants of Panama and Colon, except to the extent that water rates may be necessary for the operation and maintenance of said system of sewers and waters.

The Republic of Panama agrees that the cities of Panama and Colon shall comply in perpetuity with the sanitary ordinances, whether of a preventive or curative character, prescribed by the United States, and in case the Government of Panama is unable or fails in its duty to enforce this compliance by the cities of Panama and Colon with the sanitary ordinances of the United States the Republic of Panama grants to the United States the right and authority to enforce the same.

The same right and authority are granted to the United States for the maintenance of public order in the cities of Panama and Colon and the territories and harbors adjacent thereto in case the Republic of Panama should not be, in the judgment of the United States, able to maintain such order.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States all rights which it now has or hereafter may acquire to the property of the New Panama Canal Company and the Panama Railroad Company as a result of the transfer of sovereignty from the Republic of Colombia to the Republic of Panama over the Isthmus of Panama and authorizes the New Panama Canal Company to sell and transfer to the United States its rights, privileges, properties, and concessions, as well as the Panama Railroad, and all the shares, or part of the shares of that company; but the public lands situated outside of the zone described in Article II of this treaty, now included in the concessions to both said enterprises and not required in the construction or operation of the canal, shall revert to the Republic of Panama, except any property now owned by or in the possession of said companies within Panama or Colon or the ports or terminals thereof.


The United States agrees that the ports at either entrance of the canal and the waters thereof and the Republic of Panama agrees that the towns of Panama and Colon shall be free for all time, so that there shall not be imposed or collected custom-house tolls, tonnage, anchorage, light-house, wharf, pilot, or quarantine dues, or any other charges or taxes of any kind upon any vessel using or passing through the canal or belonging to or employed by the United States, directly or indirectly, in connection with the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the main canal, or auxiliary works, or upon the cargo, officers, crew, or passengers of any such vessels, except such tolls and charges as may be imposed by the United States for the use of the canal and other works, and except tolls and charges imposed by the Republic of Panama upon merchandise destined to be introduced for the consumption of the rest of the Republic of Panama, and upon vessels touching at the ports of Colon and Panama and which do not cross the canal.

The Government of the Republic of Panama shall have the right to establish in such ports and in the towns of Panama and Colon such houses and guards as it may be necessary to collect duties on importations destined to other portions of Panama and to prevent contraband trade. The United States shall have the right to make use of the towns and harbors of Panama and Colon as places of anchorage, and for making repairs, for loading, unloading, depositing, or transshipping cargoes either in transit or destined for the service of the canal and for other works pertaining to the canal.


The Republic of Panama agrees that there shall not be imposed any taxes, national, municipal, departmental, or of any other class, upon the canal, the railways and auxiliary works, tugs and other vessels employed in the service of the canal, storehouses, workshops, offices, quarters for laborers, factories of all kinds, warehouses, wharves, machinery and other works, property, and effects appertaining to the canal or railroad and auxiliary works, or their officers or employees, situated within the cities of Panama and Colon, and that there shall not be imposed contributions or charges of a personal character of any kind upon officers, employees, laborers, and other individuals in the service of the canal and railroad and auxiliary works.


The United States agrees that the official dispatches of the Government of the Republic of Panama shall be transmitted over any telegraph and telephone lines established for canal purposes and used for public and private business at rates not higher than those required from officials in the service of the United States.


The Government of the Republic of Panama shall permit the immigration and free access to the lands and workshops of the canal and its auxiliary works of all employees and workmen of whatever nationality under contract to work upon or seeking employment upon or in any wise connected with the said canal and its auxiliary works, with their respective families, and all such persons shall be free and exempt from the military service of the Republic of Panama.


The United States may import at any time into the said zone and auxiliary lands, free of custom duties, imposts, taxes, or other charges, and without any restrictions, any and all vessels, dredges, engines, cars, machinery, tools, explosives, materials, supplies, and other articles necessary and convenient in the construction, maintenance, operation, sanitation, and protection of the canal and auxiliary works, and all provisions, medicines, clothing, supplies, and other things necessary and convenient for the officers, employees, workmen, and laborers in the service and employ of the United States and for their families. If any such articles are disposed of for use outside of the zone and auxiliary lands granted to the United States, and within the territory of the Republic, they shall be subject to the same import or other duties as like articles imported under the laws of the Republic of Panama.


As the price or compensation for the rights, powers, and privileges granted in this convention by the Republic of Panama to the United States, the Government of the United States agrees to pay to the Republic of Panama the sum of $10,000,000 in gold coin of the United States on the exchange of the ratification of this convention, and also an annual payment during the life of this convention of $250,000 in like gold coin, beginning nine years after the date aforesaid.

The provisions of this article shall be in addition to all other benefits assure to the Republic of Panama under this convention.

But no delay or difference of opinion under this article or any other provisions of this treaty shall affect or interrupt the full operation and effect of this convention in all other respects.


The joint commission referred to in Article VI shall be established as follows:

The President of the United States shall nominate two persons and the President of the Republic of Panama shall nominate two persons and they shall proceed to a decision; but in case of disagreement of the commission (by reason of their being equally divided in conclusion) an umpire shall be appointed by the two Governments, who shall render the decision. In the event of the death, absence, or incapacity of a commissioner or umpire, or of his omitting, declining, or ceasing to act, his place shall be filled by the appointment of another person in the manner above indicated. All decisions by a majority of the commission or by the umpire shall be final.


The two Governments shall make adequate provision by future agreement for the pursuit, capture, imprisonment, detention, and delivery within said zone and auxiliary lands to the authorities of the Republic of Panama of persons charged with the commitment of crimes, felonies, or misdemeanors without said zone, and for the pursuit, capture, imprisonment, detention, and delivery without said zone to the authorities of the United States of persons charged with the commitment of crimes, felonies, and misdemeanors within said zone and auxiliary lands.


The Republic of Panama grants to the United States the use of all the ports of the Republic open to commerce as places of refuge for any vessels employed in the canal enterprise, and for all vessels passing or bound to pass through the canal which may be in distress and be driven to seek refuge in said ports. Such vessels shall be exempt from anchorage and tonnage dues on the part of the Republic of Panama.


The canal, when constructed, and the entrances thereto shall be neutral in perpetuity, and shall be opened upon the terms provided for by Section I of Article III of, and in conformity with all the stipulations of, the treaty entered into by the Governments of the United States and Great Britain on November 18, 1901.


The Government of the Republic of Panama shall have the right to transport over the canal its vessels and its troops and munitions of war in such vessels at all times without paying charges of any kind. The exemption is to be extended to the auxiliary railway for the transportation of persons in the service of the Republic of Panama, or of the police force charged with the preservation of public order outside of said zone, as well as to their baggage, munitions of war, and supplies.


If by virtue of any existing treaty in relation to the territory of the Isthmus of Panama, whereof the obligations shall descend or be assumed by the Republic of Panama, there may be any privilege or concession in favor of the Government or the citizens and subjects of a third power relative to an interoceanic means of communication which in any of its terms may be incompatible with the terms of the present convention, the Republic of Panama agrees to cancel or modify such treaty in due form, for which purpose it shall give to the said third power the requisite notification within the term of four months from the date of the present convention, and in case the existing treaty contains no clause permitting its modification or annulment, the Republic of Panama agrees to procure its modification or annulment in such form that there shall not exist any conflict with the stipulations of the present convention.


The rights and privileges granted by the Republic of Panama to the United States in the preceding articles are understood to be free of all anterior debts, liens, trusts, or liabilities, or concessions or privileges to other governments, corporations, syndicates, or individuals, and consequently, if there should arise any claims on account of the present concessions and privileges or otherwise, the claimants shall resort to the Government of the Republic of Panama and not to the United States for any indemnity or compromise which may be required.


The Republic of Panama renounces and grants to the United States the participation to which it might be entitled in the future earnings of the canal under Article XV of the concessionary contract with Lucien N. B. Wyse now owned by the New Panama Canal Company and any and all other rights or claims of a pecuniary nature arising under or relating to said concession, or arising under or relating to the concessions to the Panama Railroad Company or any extension or modification thereof; and it likewise renounces, confirms, and grants to the United States, now and hereafter, all the rights and property reserved in the said concessions which otherwise would belong to Panama at or before the expiration of the terms of ninety-nine years of the concessions granted to or held by the above-mentioned party and companies, and all right, title and interest which it now has or may hereafter have, in and to the lands, canal, works, property, and rights held by the said companies under said concessions or otherwise, and acquired or to be acquired by the United States from or through the New Panama Canal Company, including any property and rights which might or may in the future, either by lapse of time, forfeiture, or otherwise, revert to the Republic of Panama under any contracts or concessions, with said Wyse, the Universal Panama Canal Company, the Panama Railroad Company, and the New Panama Canal Company.

The aforesaid rights and property shall be and are free and released from any present or revisionary interest in or claims of Panama, and the title of the United States thereto, upon consummation of the contemplated purchase by the United States from the New Panama Canal Company, shall be absolute, so far as concerns the Republic of Panama, excepting always the rights of the Republic specifically secured under this treaty.


If it should become necessary at any time to employ armed forces for the safety or protection of the canal, or of the ships that make use of the same, or the railways and auxiliary works, the United States shall have the right, at all times and in its discretion, to use its police and its land and naval forces or to establish fortifications for these purposes.


No change either in the Government or in the laws and treaties of the Republic of Panama shall, without the consent of the United States, affect any right of the United States under the present convention or under any treaty stipulation between the two countries that now exists or may hereafter exist touching the subject-matter of this convention.

If the Republic of Panama shall hereafter enter as a constituent into any other government or into any union or confederation of states, so as to merge her sovereignty or independence in such government, union, or confederation, the rights of the United States under this convention shall not be in any respect lessened or impaired.


For the better performance of the engagements of this convention and to the end of the efficient protection of the canal and the preservation of its neutrality, the Government of the Republic of Panama will sell or lease to the United States lands adequate and necessary for naval or coaling stations on the Pacific coast and on the western Caribbean coast of the Republic at certain points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States.


This convention when signed by the plenipotentiaries of the contracting parties shall be ratified by the respective Governments, and the ratifications shall be exchanged at Washington at the earliest date possible.
In faith whereof the respective plenipotentiaries have signed the present convention in duplicate and have hereunto affixed their respective seals.
Done at the city of Washington, the 18th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1903.