Consider what the United States’ bicentennial celebration would have been like 35 years ago if George Washington had been a despot.

Image Washington running the US for a quarter century as a ruthless dictator, suppressing opposition through random terror and isolating the country from the rest of the world while referring to himself as “The Supreme One.”

It probably would have taken just a little of the luster off the festivities surrounding the nation’s founding, not to mention having irrevocably altered US history, and not for the better.

That’s a little of what Paraguay is dealing with this week as the South American nation celebrates the 200th anniversary of its independence from Spain.

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