By Felipe Argote
The integration between countries is a process nobody can stop. The removal of the old border disputes between regions is crossing step by step to a better life. In the nineteenth century, while industrialized countries established vast territories as the best way to develop a market for their products and have enough labor inputs, all together elements necessary for industrial development, Latin American countries mainly linked to agriculture This is way the countries split en small ones, because the agricultural economy does not require vast markets. So far for the new Latin American oligarchies was better to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a lion.
While in northern European countries joined by choice or by the force of weapons, in latin america the New Granada went to the Gran Colombia under the leadership of Simón Bolívar for a few years and then became the Little Colombia which missed on the way the countries of Ecuador, Venezuela and Panama, as well as the influence on Peru and Bolivia. Central America on the other hand was not part of this historic process, but was linked regionally to Mexico. Central America declared its independence on September 15, 1921 together with Mexico and stays for a year attached this country, later they integrate the Federal Republic of Central America. This republic was formed by Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Chiapas, which subsequently decided by referendum to join Mexico. Instead Panama during the colonial era was linked to the viceroyalty of Peru first and then to New Granada, always with the current South American countries. And remain so until 1093 and even we would still be part of Colombia if otherwise the chess play of the United States after the Colombian Congress rejected the Herran-Hay treaty in order to raise the annuity of $ 500,000 per year paid by Americans for the railroad route and who refused to rise it after the proposed inter-oceanic canal construction. This was 82 years after the Central American countries unite to form the Federal Republic of Central America and 66 years after its division despite the strenuous efforts of General Francisco Morazán to keep Central America united as one country.The Liberal leader held positions of Head of State in Honduras, El Salvador and Costa Rica, while Panama was connected to the leadership of Simón Bolívar in the south. Our country has achieved national identity tanned in the struggles for the recovery of our geographical waist country after a "revolution" which had as politician actors just a handful of conservatives and liberals who walked with the new flag accompanied by a couple dozen people and then not give a Panamanian, but the Colombian from Cartagena, Manuel Amador Guerrero as the first president of the new republic.
Referring to the discussion of the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), an idea originating in the european union and not in our neighboring land bring us to the the point to ask what made that Panama joined the Central American parliament and if it is worth continuing in this direction .
This process began at the Endara´s government who not only integrates the Parlacen but changes the plates of vehicles on behalf of Panama or the province that historically accompanied by: CENTRAL AMERICA. Many motorists decided to cover this word with electrical tape. Then ran the absurd decision to remove the statue of the Indian Urracá, national hero of the struggle against the Spanish invasion, from the park that bears his name, then set up a monument to Francisco Morazán. Stupid.
What connects us to Central America? We have seen that we dont have a common history, but also our customs, which are much more similar to that of Cubans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, and even that of Colombians and Venezuelans to Central America. At dinner, dancing, outgoing manner of speaking, man ... identity. No wonder the Colombians and Venezuelans who have moved by thousands to our country say they feel at home. However let's put a Costa Rican, Guatemalan, or Nicaraguan in any of our neighborhoods and they will feel like they are on Proxima Centauri.
Central Americans have the same clock time, we have the time to Bogota, our economy is more often linked to the south by the Colon Free Zone to Central. Our main clients are Colombia and Venezuela. Our music is more like a Colombian vallenato than a polka or a mazurka from Nicaraguan who so pretty and colorful it is, yet it doesnt looks like our popular music. It's a stubbornness to continue with the idea of tying ourselves to something of which we are neither part. However, the isolationists, those who say we should not become part of anybody and be a feud are so extravagant in its historical perspective as those who want us to link to the force in Central America. I think we should integrate the South, where we link history, customs, identity and economy. As bad as we like the situation in Colombia is not going to be for ever, we must attach ourselves to South America, we have to joint to Mercosur and integrate step by step, without a hurry but with a strategic perspective to the South American bloc. Central America should instead link to Mexico after they failed and ill have to forget its integration with Saxon countries. We can´t attach ourselves to Central America only because it affirms geographical ties that bind us, because that is also relative. While there in Central America Jurassic animals grazed and were preyed, Panama was under water.
Panama was not linked to anyone until the arrival of Spanish invaders it was made up people scattered throughout the geography. In fact Panama was nothing more than a fishing village. The Spanish used then this region, not as a starting point for the invasion of Central America, but of the Inca empire of Peru. Since that moment we were invariably linked to the fate of South America and that is in my point of view, our historical destiny.