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With US help, dictator Manuel NORIEGA was deposed in 1989.
The entire Panama Canal, the area supporting the Canal, and remaining US military bases were turned over to Panama by or on 31 December 1999. Constitution: 11 October 1972; amended 19 and reformed in 2004.
Panama occupies an area of 74,177 km², making it slightly larger than the Republic of Ireland or slightly smaller than the U. The highest point in Panama is Volcán Barú, an active stratovolcano with an elevation of 3,475 m (11,460 feet) is located in west, close to the border with Costa Rica.
Panama has a population of about 4 million people (in 2017); capital and largest city is Panama City; official language is Spanish.
Biblioteca Nacional de Panamá The National Library of Panama (in Spanish).
Arte y Cultura en Panamá About Panama's art and culture (in Spanish).
Languages: Spanish (official); 14% speak English as their native tongue; various indigenous languages. Literacy: 93% Natural resources: Copper, mahogany forests, shrimp, hydropower.
Agriculture products: Bananas, rice, corn, coffee, sugarcane, vegetables; livestock; shrimp.
Climate: tropical maritime; hot, humid, cloudy; prolonged rainy season, short dry season (January to May) People: Nationality: Panamanian(s).
Population: 3.97 million (2015) Annual growth rate: 1.31%.
Industries: Construction, brewing, cement and other construction materials, sugar milling Exports - commodities: copper, gold, lead, zinc, tin, iron ore, molybdenum, silver; crude petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas; coffee, asparagus and other vegetables, fruit, apparel and textiles, fishmeal, fish, chemicals, fabricated metal products and machinery, alloys Exports partners: China 22.1%, USA 15.2%, Switzerland 8.1%, Canada 7% (2015) Imports - commodities: petroleum and petroleum products, chemicals, plastics, machinery, vehicles, TV sets, power shovels, front-end loaders, telephones and telecommunication equipment, iron and steel, wheat, corn, soybean products, paper, cotton, vaccines and medicines Imports partners: China 22.7%, USA 20.7%, Brazil 5.1%, Mexico 4.5% (2015) Currency: Balboa (PAB); US Dollar (USD) Political system Panama is a constitutional democracy and a presidential representative republic with a multi-party system.