All though there is no agreement on the exact amount, it is fair to say there are around 200 countries in the world. I’m sure all these countries have their issues but there are only about thirty countries that I can name out of the top of my head that make it to the daily news.
I think Africa has the largest amount of ignored countries of all continents. They also have the most countries -period-, but I think we all know there is more to it than that. I have half a mind to dedicate a blog for each of these countries, partially to force myself to read up on what is going on there, partially because I think it will actually be really interesting!
The most journalistically neglected country of South America, in my opinion, is Paraguay. I have a lot of love for the region and try to keep up to date and it always surprises me how there seems to be a lot going on there and nobody seems to care. In South America itself there does seem to be some attention for them on the level of international organizations like Mercosur but people on the streets don’t seem to be particularly interested in this landlocked country. It kind of reminds me of an appendix (even the shape); we all know it’s there, we don’t really know what it does for us and don’t need to give it another thought, until……
Well, we obviously can’t cut Paraguay out of the continent , but Mercosur did temporarily banish it from the treaty after Fernando Lugo was removed from power last year. Just for all of our clarity, let’s summarize Paraguay’s last century, real quick:
- Paraguay is ruled by the Colorado party for sixty years, supporting the military rule of Gen Alfredo Stroessner from 1954 to 1989.
- In 2008 the Colorado party was beaten by a left-wing coalition led by Fernando Lugo, in a landslide victory that was seen as the next country to step into the leftist revolution that was sweeping through the continent at the time.
- Lugo was impeached in June 2012 by the nation’s opposition-controlled parliament in a politically controversial process that took less than 48 hours.
- Paraguay was expelled from the Mercosur as a statement from the members of the trading bloc, and most prominently Hugo Chavez,
- Horacio Cartes, a multi-millionaire businessman and richest man in Paraguay and a member of the Colorado Party is elected president.
That this party had actually been handed back the power they abused for so long, really baffles my mind. But hey, it happens, right mr Mugabe? An interesting item on the situation in Paraguay was presented by Al Jazeera in April of this year. See below:
I wish I was there right now. It is just so hard to understand how this went down. Not only has the Colorado party efficiently gotten rid of their political rival, they have managed to confuse the voters to such an extent that they decided to just reelect the the party they were protesting against, some years back. Para-que? Para-why? Anyone?