World Country Laos

About the world country Laos, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: Landlocked on Southeast Asia's Indochinese Peninsula, between Vietnam and Thailand. Size: 91,429 sq. mi. (236,800 sq. km.). Population: 3,500,000.

Who Really Rules: Laos is governed by the Lao People's Revolutionary (Communist) party, led by the Pathet Lao guerrilla movement leadership. The regime's opponents, including former U.S. allies and former Pathet Lao cadre, are sent to reeducation camps, from which they are released once they agree to toe the government line. Armed opposition, particularly among the Hmong (Meo) tribal group that fought for the American CIA, continues in a few areas. Laos has a special relationship with Vietnam, which supports the Lao government with 40,000 troops and technical assistance.

Though the Communists have nationalized industry and imposed central planning, this agricultural subsistence economy is far from socialist. Most peasants still work privately owned land, the free market is tolerated, and private real-estate holdings are legal.

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