Country of the World Bolivia

About the country Bolivia, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.

NATIONS AND THEIR RULER

BOLIVIA

NITTY-GRITTY

Lay of the Land: Bolivia is a landlocked country astride the Andes in western South America. There are two principal geographical divisions: in the west the altiplano, a high, cold, windswept plateau 500 mi. long by 80 mi. wide lying at a 12,000 ft. elevation and home to four fifths of the population, and in the east the sparsely populated lowlands, which include hardwood forests, valleys, and the scrubby plain called the Chaco. Lake Titicaca, highest navigable lake in the world at 12,507 ft., is on the border between Peru and Bolivia.

Size: 424,162 sq. mi. (1,098,581 sq. km.).

Population: 6 million.

Who Rules: Technically a republic with nearly universal suffrage, Bolivia's last popular election occurred in 1966. Gen. Hugo Banzer Suarez has been president since 1971.

Who REALLY Rules: Bolivia is in the hands of the tiny oligarchy composed of military and economic leaders with strong ties to the U.S. Banzer himself trained in the School of the Americas in Panama and served a stint as a military attache in Washington, D.C. Bolivia has been a major recipient of U.S. foreign aid ($500 million since 1950), and the U.S. is presently its largest single investor. Tin, Bolivia's major export, has been nationalized, but the profits still go to the wealthy few in the form of investment subsidies, special loans, etc. The miners never see them.

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