May 15, 2011 - Paraguay's Independence Day

This landlocked nation lies in the center of South America. 

The Guarani people fought against the Spanish and won their independence from Spain in 1811, but they continued to fight against their stronger neighbors. The War of the Triple Alliance, fought between Paraguay and the joined forces of Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina, was the worst war in South American history and decimated the Guarani population—about half the population died during the war—and especially the adult males. Paraguay later fought against Bolivia for a hunk of land.

According to Wikipedia,  the history of Paraguay is even more contested than that of most nations. The “authentic” version of historical events depends on whether it was written in Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Europe, or North America. Even the two main political parties of Paraguay have different official versions of history!

There are actually truths to be known about history. Specific events did happen, on specific dates and times, and particular people did and said certain things. In theory, we could wade through various different versions of history, find evidence and eye-witness reports, and discovery what really happened. However, as a practical matter, it is hard to know what actually happened! It's best to find histories written by disinterested people—not the winners or the losers of a war, but outsiders who don't have an axe to grind as they write down accounts of events.

Check out Paraguay.

This tourism video is cheesy and oriented on attracting tourists from the U.S. and Europe—but it shows some interesting and beautiful sites.  

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