800px-Flag of Paraguay.svg
Capital: Asunción
Official Language: Spanish, Guaraní
Government: Constitutional Presidential Republic
Head of State: President Ferdinand Lugo
Formation: May 14, 1811
Population: 6,831,306 (October 08 estimate)
Currency: Guaraní (PYG)
¨Human Rights Record¨
¨Territorial Disputes¨
¨Ongoing Conflicts¨ (None)

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Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay Spanish pronunciation: [reˈpuβlika ðel paɾaˈɣwai]; Guaraní: Tetã Paraguái), is one of the only two landlocked countries in South America (along with Bolivia). It lies on both banks of the Paraguay River, bordering Argentina to the south and southwest, Brazil to the east and northeast, and Bolivia to the northwest. Due to its central location in South America, the country is sometimes referred to as Corazón de América - Heart of America.

Paraguay Constitution

Brief HistoryEdit

In 1811 Paraguay became the first independent Republic of South America. Unlike many of the other nations in the region Paraguay did not have to engage in fighting with the Spanish Empire. The first President of the Republic was José Gaspar Rodríguez de Francia. If not for him Paraguay would not exist today. Some considered him a dictator especially the elite land class. However, the regular citizens considered highly of him since he provided for the less well off at the expense of the rich landowners. He believed in self-sufficiency and isolation. Follower of the French revolution he turned Paraguay into a successful functioning nation. Some say he made Paraguay the first socialist type nation.

In 1865 Paraguay got involved in helping the legit government of Uruguay fight against a Brazilian backed opposition Uruguayan political party. This was when the War of the Triple Alliance (Paraguayan War) began. The war of the Triple alliance was the biggest war ever fought in South America. The President of Paraguay at that time was Francisco Solano López. It should be noted that the allies were made up of Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (the pro-Paraguayan Uruguayan gov't. had been defeated) The allies thought they could defeat Paraguay in 3 months. It took them 5 years.It must be remembered that Paraguay had the largest military at that time. It should be noted that with time has the war was going bad for Paraguay that everyone in Paraguay joined the war effort. Women became involved and units of children joined the fight. By this time guerilla warfare was becoming to be intensively used.

Even though Paraguay never surrendered, the war ended after Francisco Solano López killed in battle. By this time Paraguay was completely destroyed. More than half the population had been wipedout. There were only 28000 men left out of an original 220000. Compared to Europe in WW II Paraguay fared much worst. After the war Paraguay was forced to cede large areas of its territory to Brazil and Argentina.

In the 1932 without much of a standing army or budget Paraguay got involved in the Chaco War with Bolivia. The Chaco war was the second biggest war in South America. Armed with poor mans weapons compared to Bolivia, Paraguay managed to take control of the Chaco region. Treaty was signed 6 years later. Losses on both sides amounted to 100000 killed. The war was a victory for Paraguay but an economic disaster for both Paraguay and Bolivia.

Throughout most of its history Paraguay has been controlled by dictators. From 1954 to 1989, Paraguay was controlled by dictator Stroessner of the Colorado(Red) Party. It should be noted that the Colorado Party has controlled Paraguay for over 60 years up to the elections of 2008.

The history of Paraguay is fraught with disputes among historians, educators and politicians. The official version of historical events, wars in particular, varies depending on whether you read a history book written in Paraguay, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil or Bolivia, and even European and North American authors have been unable to avoid bias. Paraguay's history also has been a matter of dispute among Paraguay's main political parties, and there is a Colorado Party and Liberal Party official version of Paraguayan history. Certain historical events from the Colonial and early national era have been difficult to investigate due to the fact that during the pillaging of Asuncion Saqueo de Asunción, the Brazilian Imperial army ransacked and relocated the Paraguayan National archives to Rio de Janeiro. The majority of the archives have been mostly under secret seal since then, in effect, precluding any historical investigation.

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