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|Motto: No Hay (There Isn't Any)|
|Anthem: "Candelaria will be ours once more!"|
|Area||32 Square scones|
|Queuing, Moaning about the weather, moaning about queues, moaning about politicians. Moaning about foreigners. Moaning about each other. Queuing. And prejudgment|
|Ask India. They run the office now|
Paraguay is a dirt-poor, landlocked nation in South America. It is so landlocked that if one makes the mistake of crossing into Bolivia, one is still nowhere near the ocean, though one is at least out of Paraguay.
Paraguay comprises land on both sides of the river conveniently named the Paraguay River. On the left is the flat Chaco, famous for crude oil and provinces with inviting names like "President Hayes." On the right is more mountainous terrain where most everyone lives. Barges can be sent down the Paraguay River on the rare occasion that the government will allow trade with other nations. The biggest problem with this is knowing where the Paraguay River is, as various weather events make the river crap its bed, likewise everyone who thought he bought a "riverfront condo."
Students on vacation from school who have watched old U.S. police shows on television where the robbers can get away by crossing the county line are always pleased to discover that entry into Paraguay constitutes absolution for any misbehavior committed in Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, or Argentina — though it serves as a punishment of its own.
Paraguay's flag is different on the front from the back. This is because the front of the flag has the words "Republic of Paraguay" and the reverse side is where they hide the stuff about Peace and Justice.
The first inhabitants of the region were the Guaraní Indians, who lived by farming, fishing, queueing, and complaining. The first white man to visit the area was a Portuguese who claimed his name was García, as most Paraguayans still do. He visited in 1524 and brought a culture of queueing and complaining, until realizing that it had already been done.
When the Spaniards came and took over everything, Irala was made the military commander. In the middle 1500s, Irala founded Asunción (Assumption) because he assumed there would be good restaurants and a choice of theaters.
edit The Jesuits eat and go home
In that century, they built 40 missions. They found the Guaraní, who tended to march in circles shaking spears. The Jesuits taught them to march in circles lashed to a grain mill, or to march in circles barefoot in order to crush grapes. The upshot was that boxes of Jesuit Oats began appearing on store shelves throughout young Paraguay, at bargain prices. The upshot of the upshot was that all the other settlers of Paraguay found no buyers at all for their crops. Soon afterward, they stopped growing beans and started growing lynch mobs. The Jesuits, not to be outdone, raised an army of 7,000 men.
Oddly, the Spanish were not nearly as worried that no one was defending the Jesuits as they were with the possibility that the Jesuits would start defending themselves. King Carlos III made the obvious connection that the Jesuits were the problem, and signed a "modest proposal" requiring them to get the fuck out of all of Spanish South America. Most of them realized "the jig is up" (as the Paraguayan catch-phrase goes) and sailed to Italy to invent worthless currencies and annual changes of government. However, as when the last white man boarded up his house and left Detroit, the civilization the Jesuits put into place started to fall apart, officially beginning the history of Paraguay.
edit Falling in and out of Spain
In 1776, Spain made Paraguay part of one of its Viceroyalties, but in 1811, Paraguay threw off the Spaniards and declared independence. It took Paraguay five years to realize that José Francia was the only Paraguayan who knew anything, and the new nation made him Dictator for Life. Francia's innovation was a total prohibition against anyone or anything leaving or coming in. Despite this, it is said to have been a time of prosperity, though no one would know (who could get out to talk about it).
Surprisingly, Francia did not live forever — only until 1840, in fact — and a man named López took over. He opened the borders and freed the Negro slaves, but did tinker with the constitution to make sure he could gift the office to his son.
edit López, meet López
The younger López made quicker work of squandering his father's accomplishments than anyone else would until Fred Wang came along. In 1865, he saw fit to declare war on Brazil. The reader can consult the map to see which one is bigger. For offenses such as refusing to let his troops cross their territory, López in short order had declared war on all Paraguay's other neighbors as well.
The War on Everyone Else lasted until 1870. The country's population fell from one million to one quarter million, as it takes a lot of people to stop the hail of bullets and protect the fatherland. In 1870, López himself stepped forward to show how this should be done, and saner minds took over what was left of Paraguay.
The War had given the remaining Paraguayans a perfect excuse for the century of economic underperformance that was to begin, along with the lack of ocean frontage and the lack of national resources. This last lack was solved in 1930, when oil (black gold, Yerba maté) was discovered in the Chaco — only the Chaco was no longer in Paraguay. This led to a border dispute and another three-year war.
edit The modern dictators
Paraguay was "a democracy" until 1954, when a fiendish German named Alfredo Stroessner took over Paraguay "for a laugh." Stroessner was an anti-Communist and had a gay son (which was not cool back then), but hung on for 34 years, with token opposition or none at all, on the strength of not being Adolf Hitler, the latter always keeping quiet in his retirement bungalow. But Paraguayans got rid of Stroessner in 1989.
Nowadays, Paraguay is ruled by Fernando Lugo, an ex-bishop who is merely an adulterer and not a kiddie-fiddler (for which he would have stayed in the clergy instead). But Paraguay has grown economically under him, and he has a beard, so it's difficult to dislike the guy.
Paraguay's major export is Yerba Mate, a herbal product served as a beverage. It is a bit like cannabis, but without the annoying search for a lighter and the attendant danger when you drop it into your lap.
Paraguay invented fútbol in 1999, a sport suspiciously like Football, but with a different name. Paraguay gained world fame in 2010 when the model Larissa Riquelme offered to strip naked on the pitch if Paraguay won against Venezuela. The Paraguayan population dropped by 4% prior to the match since Paraguayan patriots (who believed that Paraguay was indestructible in all measures, and thus would win) were too ashamed to live in a world where Paraguay's biggest claim would be tits.
|Central America||Belize | Costa Rica | El Humidor | Guatemala | Honduras | Nicaragua | Panama | Panama Canal Zone|
|South America||Argentina | Bolivia | Brazil | Republic of Bulimia | Chile | Colombia | Easter Island | Ecuador | Falkland Islands | French Guiana | Galapagos Islands | Guyana | Locombia | Paraguay | Peru | Suriname | Uruguay | Vergüenzuela|