A land-locked republic in central South America, surrounded by Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia. Long a border region, disputed between Spain and Portugal, Paraguay was ruled by Spain and attached at various times to the viceroyalties of Peru and La Plata (Buenos Aires), Paraguay declared its independence from Spain in 1811 and from La Plata in 1813. In 1865, its territorial ambitions precipitated the War of the Triple Alliance (1865-70), in which Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay united to defeat Paraguay, annexing large areas of the country. In 1935, Paraguay defeated Bolivia in the Chaco War, securing most of the disputed Gran Chaco region, although at a cost in manpower that took generations to replace. Paraguay was ruled by Gen. Alfredo Stroessner from 1954 to 1989. His regime was one of the most repressive in Latin America. In 1989 he was overthrown by the army, which oversaw a transition to civilian government by 1993, when the country's first democratic presidential election was held. Since 1961, Paraguay has issued a huge number of attractive, philatelically inspired stamps and souvenir sheets.