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1878, 100 centavos = 1 peso.
1906, 100 centesimos = 1 balboa.

Former state and department of Colombia whose history is bound up with the need of the European powers and the USA for efficient transport across the isthmus. This was maintained from 1849 by mule train until the Panama Railroad was completed in 1855. When the Colombian senate refused to ratify a Colombian-USA treaty leasing territory for the construction of a canal, Panama declared its independence (3 November 1903) and concluded the treaty granting the Canal Zone (see below) to the USA.

For use of stamps of USA, Britain and France, see Colombia.

Provisionals issued 1903 in Panama City, Colon and Bocas del Toro.

After some difficulties in holding free elections, \delavalle was elected President in February 1988, but he was unable to remove General Noriega as the Commander of the Defence Forces. After further elections in 1989, Noriega annulled the result and on 15 December he assumed full power. On 20 December 1989, US troops invaded Panama and reinstated the winner of the earlier Presidential elections.

Postal system was run by the USA but independent of the US postal system. It was not a member of the UPU, and its domestic postal rates apply on mail to Mexico and Canada as well as Panama and all US possessions. Panama protested against the use in July 1904 of US stamps overprinted (the second issue).

By the Taft Agreement (1904) between the USA and Panama, stamps of Panama were supplied for overprinting CANAL ZONE. Panamanian currency was maintained until the abrogation of the agreement (1924) when the Canal Zone adopted the US dollar and USA stamps overprinted. After 1928, distinctive stamps were issued until the change of status in 1977, when Panamanian stamps were used.

With effect from 1 October 1979, the Canal Zone was disestablished and all areas of land and water within the Zone reverted to Panama. Although the sovereignty of all areas has now become Panamian, the last US Bases did not revert to Panama until 31 December 1999.

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