World Country Paraguay

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



Location: South America, landlocked by Bolivia, Brazil, and Argentina. Size: 157,047 sq.mi. (406,752 sq. km.). Population: 3,395,000.

Who Really Rules: Paraguay is under the personal dictatorial rule of President Alfredo Stroessner, a general who seized power in 1954. Born in 1913, he has made no provision for selecting his successor. Stroessner governs through the military, the police, and the Colorado party, a corrupt network that dominates the country's civilian institutions. The press is the only major independent force in the country, but writers are subject to imprisonment and their papers to closure for displeasing Stroessner.

Though predominantly a mestizo nation, Paraguay is gradually eliminating its native Indian tribes through disease, environmental control, enslavement, and outright murder.

Historically, Argentina has exercised enormous influence over Paraguay, but since the early 1970s Brazil has become more important, particularly with the construction of the Itaipu Dam--the world's largest hydroelectric project--on the Rio Parana border with Brazil. Stroessner has opened large sections of Paraguay's land to soybean farmers from Brazil, to U.S. firms such as Gulf & Western Industries, and to individuals such as the late Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. General Stroessner was the winner of The People's Almanac Dictator-of-the-Year Award for 1980.

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