How the canal was made
Columbia says no. Panama say yes.
From 1819 Panama was part of the federation and the country of Columbia. So when the United States wanted to build the canal Columbia said no. Then the U.S supported a revolution to let panama have independence. The new Panamanian government authorized French businessman Philippe Bunau-Varilla, to negotiate a treaty with the U.S. The Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty allowed the U.S to build the panama canal and provide for perpetual control of a zone five miles wide on either side of the canal.
A settlement for the canal.
The 1977 treaty established the canal as a neutral international waterway and even in times of war any vessel is guaranteed safe passage. After the 1999 hand over, the U.S. and panama jointly shared duties defending the canal.
Panama canal Expansion.
In September, 2007 work began on a $5.2 billion project to expand the Panama Canal. Expected to be complete in 2014, the Panama Canal expansion project will allow ships double the size of current Panama to pass through the canal, dramatically increasing the amount of goods that can pass through the canal.