Paraguay: Dictator by Popular Request

They used to say that all the clocks stopped in Paraguay in 1864. That was the year Argentina. Brazil and Uruguay ganged up on their small, landlocked neighbor in a grisly war that halved Paraguay's population to 250,000 and left only 14,000 males. Paraguay has made some progress since then: it now has a population of 1,800,000 and a gross national product of $198 million annually (equal to the annual sales of U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly & Co.). It also has the last remaining old-style dictator in South America.

Last week, after nine years in power, General Alfredo Stroessner,...

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