Panamanian nationalists eagerly point out that Panama existed before the settlement of Jamestown in 1607 and centuries before the United States intervened in November 1903 to help Panama gain independence from Colombia. The temporary Panamanian representative to the United States, Phillipe Bunau-Varilla, a Frenchman, violated his instructions from the new Panamanian government to await the arrival of officials from Panama before negotiating a treaty. The United States (US) actively discouraged Panamanian self-determination, for Washington saw its interest as maintaining a compliant Panamanian government. Panamanian students, although pro-US in general terms, had long insisted that the United States recognize Panamanian sovereignty over the zone. Panamanians were alarmed by the De Concini Amendment to the Neutrality Treaty, for it seemed to vitiate Panamanian efforts to gain complete control over Panama. Confronted with this intolerable situation, Panamanians welcomed Operation Just Cause even though US military intervention did not meet the strict guidelines of the neutrality treaty.