Panama. By: Chri s. Location. Facts. Full name: Republic of Panama Population: 3.6 million (UN, 2011) Capital: Panama City Area: 75,517 sq km (29,157 sq miles) Major languages: Spanish, English Major religion: Christianity-Roman Catholic
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Conservative supermarket magnate Ricardo Martinelli was elected to succeed Martin Torrijos with a landslide victory at the April 2009 presidential election.
Standing for the four-party opposition Alliance for Change, Mr Martinelli gained 61% of the vote, against 37% for Balbina Herrera, the candidate of the governing left-wing Democratic Revolutionary Party.
The result appeared to run counter a wider Latin American trend towards the left.
U.S. Invasion of Panama (1989)--A short war between the United States and Panama in 1989 in which the United States invaded Panama in order to secure the Panama Canal and to remove Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega from power.