History: Formerly a part of the Spanish Vice-royalty of Rio de la Plata and subsequently a province of Brazil, Uruguay became independent on Aug. 25, 1825. After a military coup of 1976, civilian government was restored in 1985.
Economy: Livestock-raising is Uruguay’s principal occupation and takes up 60 per cent of its total land area. The chief products are meat, wool, hides, corn, wheat, citrus fruit, rice, tobacco, oats and linseed. Important industries are vinery, meatpacking, textiles, cement and oil products.
Socialist measures were adopted as far back as 1911. The Welfare programmes earned Uruguay a reputation as the Switzerland of Latin America.
History: A former Soviet republic that became independent in Dec. , 1991, Uzbekistan is bordered by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan.
Economy: Agriculture: Uzbekistan has an excellent record in agriculture. Intensive farming, based on artificial irrigation is practiced. It is the chief cotton-growing area in former Soviet Union and the third in the world. It produced 65% of the total cotton, 50% of the total rice and 60% of the total Iucerne grown in the former union. Crops: cotton, Iucerne, grain, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruit and berries. Natural resources: Oil, coal, copper, ozocerite, building materials. Industry: agricultural machinery, cement, textiles, paper, ferroconcrete.
The Roman alphabet (in use 1929-40) was re-introduced in 1994.
Recent Events: Protestors seized an administration building in a prison in Andijan city following trial of 23 local businessmen accused of belonging to an Islamist extremist group. In August, 2005, Islam Karimov, the authoritarian ruler of Uzbekistan, gave the authoritarian ruler of Uzbekstan, gave the United States 180 days to remove its military airbase from his country.
History: The Anglo-French condominium of the New Hebrides became independent under the name Vanuatu on July 30, 1980. It is a double chain of 13 large and 80 small islands in South West Pacific. The largest island is the Espiritu Santo. Originally a haunt of European pirates, they came under the control of France and Britain in 1906. The population is overwhelmingly Melanesian.
Economy: The major cash crops are copra, coffee and cocoa. Vanuate is a popular tourist destination in the South Pacific.
Industry: Fish-freezing, meat canneries, tourism. Manganese has been mined since 1961 and exported to japan.