Dirty Dollars

A general scrubs up his image

Ever since 1914, when U.S. engineers connected the Atlantic and Pacific oceans by carving a 43-mile-long canal across the Isthmus of Panama, the two ! countries have been intimately linked. So great is American influence that the U.S. dollar is legal currency in Panama. Yet Panamanians are extremely sensitive to any slight from their northern neighbors, especially since their nation is due to take over full jurisdiction of the canal at the end of 1999. Thus diplomats scurried for cover last June, when Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, an opponent of the controversial 1977 treaty that turned over the canal...

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