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Project PlowshareThe Peaceful Use of Nuclear Explosives in Cold War America$
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Scott Kaufman

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451256

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451256.001.0001

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The Complexities of Canal Construction

The Complexities of Canal Construction

(p.97) 5 The Complexities of Canal Construction
Project Plowshare

Scott Kaufman

Cornell University Press

This chapter studies the Panama Canal riots and its implication for both US–Panamanian relations and Plowshare. Roberto Chiari, Panama's president, severed diplomatic ties with the US, charging Washington with “aggression.” Current US President Lyndon B. Johnson and his aides blamed communist agents for inciting the unrest and charged Chiari with adding “fuel to the fire” by not using his National Guard to restore order. However, the White House could not ignore the fact that the turmoil was symptomatic of the long-brewing frustration within Panama over US control of the Canal Zone. As a result, the Johnson administration adopted a two-part response: first, it sought to negotiate a new treaty with Panama; second, it gave more serious consideration to building a sea-level canal, be it in Panama or elsewhere in the Central American isthmus.

Keywords:   Panama Canal Zone, Panama Canal riots, US–Panamanian relations, Plowshare, Roberto Chiari, Lyndon B. Johnson, sea-level canal, Central American isthmus

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