THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PANAMA CANAL by Denison Kitchel

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PANAMA CANAL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

This eleventh hour summons to the American public and to the Senate to reject President Carter's newly-signed Panama Canal Treaty and the concomitant Neutrality Treaty assumes that the American people and the government are ""at loggerheads"" over the disposition of the Canal. Kitchel, who was Sen. Barry Goldwater's campaign manager in 1964, believes that ""sovereignty"" is the real issue with Panamanians--not the control, the operation, or the defense of the waterway. And he favors granting them a kind of fictive sovereignty (though elsewhere arguing that Panama always kept the vestiges under the astounding Hay-Binau-Varilla Treaty of 1903) so long as it doesn't involve US renunciation of its ""jurisdiction."" The arrangement he seems to have in mind resembles that of the American base at Guantanamo Bay--the Latinos keep title but there's no doubt about who's running the show. Granting the Panamanians ""sovereignty,"" Kitchel suggests, would help them save face with their neighbors; probably they could also be given a bit more money. But since American defense needs are indefinite, any treaty of fixed duration should provide for US review. Though not blaming the recently signed treaties exclusively on the Democrats--the Nixon-Tack Statement of Principles was just as bad--Kitchel enjoins the government to abandon its ""servile approach"" and remember that the Moscow-Havana axis has its eye on Central America. With a foreword by Sen. Goldwater and another by Rep. John J. Rhodes, this marshals the evidence for the nay-sayers.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1977
Publisher: Arlington House