Not like many other countries in the region, Venezuela has the largest oil reserves in the world. Holding a frankly ridiculous 18.22% of the world’s reserves in 2016, Venezuela is second to none, with Saudi Arabia not being too far behind. However, Venezuela has had plenty of domestic turmoil, with protests frequently being held in the last 8-10 years, with a history of protests against the government. Not to mention, inflation in the country has led to a rapid devaluation of their currency, reported to be at about 28.5% in the month of May in 2021, whereas inflation in the European Union is expected to be at 1.68% throughout the year of 2021.
Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory that got its name from the description of the island. Being long and narrow, it was described as an eel in French, which is ‘anguille’. Although small, it is undulating, with a highest point of about 64 meters above sea level. Given its location out in the Atlantic Ocean, natural disaster has been a large part of the history of the island, with hurricanes often sweeping past the island, causing significant damage. However, like many other islands in the region, tourism has been a significant driving force in recent times, with beaches that look at the Atlantic Ocean.
Eugene F. Correira International Airport (SYEC/OGL)
Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America, with colonial history with Dutch and British settlers. Given the country’s main assets is in it’s forest and mineral reserves, it has continued to be one of the poorest countries in the region. As such, many of its exports comes from minerals or farm produce. Such examples of exports includes bauxite, gold and diamond, as well as crops such as sugar and rice.
Eugene F. Correira International Airport (SYEC/OGL)
Suriname is South America’s most ethnically diverse country. With people of ethnic groups from India, Pakistan and Indonesia, as well as Creole Surinamese, many of these people trace their origins to being brought to Suriname by colonists as contract labourers in the 19th century. In more recent times, there have been plenty of Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese and Brazilian who have immigrated to Suriname. Given the large workforce brought in, it is only obvious that there was a large natural resource to exploit, with bauxite being the case for Suriname. Being one of the top producers in the world. In more recent times, oil and gas has been something that Suriname has been exploring.
Iceland has been a popular tourist destination in recent years, with waterfalls, glaciers and volcanoes being a tourist attraction, and doing so while being eco-friendly. Almost all of its electricity is generated through renewable means, only boosting its target of being a carbon neutral country by 2040. Iceland has also produced numerous songwriters and bands, of which Of Monsters and Men have been a personal favourite of mine for many years.
French Guiana is sometimes seen as the gateway to space for many European countries. With its location being far from many storm paths, as well as a low population and plenty of undeveloped land, the French government turned a portion of the land into a space center. Now, with the presence of the European Space Agency, the French Space Agency as well as Arianespace, a private company developing the Ariane rocket line, this country has been a destination for those looking to send their cargo to outer space. Not to mention, later this year, there will be a very high profile launch of the James Webb Space Telescope on the Ariane 5 rocket which aims to search for the first light and stars after the Big Bang, study the formation and evolution of galaxies, study the formation and evolution of stars and planetary systems, as well as the further study of planetary systems and the origins of life.
Jorge Wilstermann International Airport (SLCB/CBB)
Bolivia is one of two landlocked countries in South America. Having lost it’s access to the Pacific Ocean after the War of the Pacific in 1884. However, in more recent times, agreements with neighbouring countries has since allowed an indirect access to both the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean, aiding in the facilitation of trade with other countries. Moreover, trade with neighbouring countries has continued to be a significant trading partner, with Argentina and Brazil being the largest partners of Bolivia.
Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCEL/SCL)
Chile occupies a long, narrow strip of land along the Andes mountain range to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The country also occupies the southernmost point of the continent and is the closest to Antarctica among all countries that lay claim on the uninhabited continent. Chile also annexed Easter Island in the 1800s, and all citizens of the island later received Chilean citizenship. It is home to some of the most intricate cave systems in the world, as well as Moai monoliths up to about 165 tons in weight.
Antigua and Barbuda attract thousands of sailers every year at the Antigua Sailing Week. In it, there are often parties, races and exhibitions which are known to be one of the most famous in the world. Along with sailing, Antigua and Barbuda are perhaps most famous for their white beaches, sunny weather and top-quality resorts. Cricket is also an incredibly popular sport on the island, with one of the most famous cricket batsmen of all time in Sir Viv Richards being native to the island of Antigua and Barbuda.
Controlling in my 132nd country, and therefore, past the half way mark, Pointe-à-Pitre International Airport was the perfect place to be. Boasting rich natural and cultural history, the Creole and French inhabited island is actually a part of France, where even travellers from France and the Schengen Zone are free to travel to the island just as they are within the Schengen Zone in Europe. Thus, airlines operating from France to overseas territories could well be considered to be one of the longest domestic flights in the world.
Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (SGAS/ASU)
Paraguay is the second of two landlocked countries in South America that I’ve controlled in. Not to mention, while it is a landlocked country, has the largest navy of all landlocked country. However, there is still access to the ocean through the Rio Panara or Parana River which flows through Argentina and Brazil. In addition, the river access allows Paraguay to take advantage of hydroelectric power, with 99.9% of the country’s power being produced by hydroelectric means.
Uruguay’s name comes from the Uruguay river, and while it starts in Brazil and ends in Argentina, it flows through Uruguay and hence, adopted its name. Uruguay is well known for many reasons, however, one of which may include President José Mujica who is thought tome the poorest president in the world Having donated most of his income to charitable causes, he owns a 1987 Volkswagen Beetle and said that he would donate a million dollars if someone would pay a million dollars for his car.
Portugal could often be seen as a friendly little giant on the world stage. A small coastal nation with a population of just over 10 million, you wouldn’t think that this country would have been one of the most powerful country in the world just a couple hundred years ago. However, having mastered the ocean, it has since gone on to spread its influence to various countries around the world, and was the first to have circumnavigated around the world with the sailor Ferdinand Magellan.
Rio de Janeiro/Galeão International Airport (SBGL/GIG)
To the fifth largest country by land area and sixth largest country by population in the world, Brazil is the largest Portuguese speaking country that borders all countries in South America except for Chile and Ecuador. Being some of the most successful country in the FIFA World Cup with 5 wins in the tournament, Brazilians take their football incredibly seriously with legends like Pelé, Garrincha, Roberto Carlos, as well as people like Ronaldinho and Neymar in more recent times.
Ministro Pistarini International Airport (SAEZ/EZE)
To a major footballing rival country of Brazil, Argentina has also incorporated football as a major part of its culture. Plenty of the world’s greatest football players such as the likes of Diego Maradona, Angel di Maria, Sergio Aguero, Diego Simione and perhaps the most famous of them all, Lionel Messi. However, looking away from football, Argentina is the birthplace of the world’s most famous freedom fighter, Che Guevara.
Saint Pierre and Miquelon is a little known island off the coast of Newfoundland, this island to this very day is still technically a part of France. It has a unique history, with plenty of high profile visitors for various reasons throughout its history, however, some of the most famous visitors may include the infamous mobster, Al Capone. This island then became a well known alcohol smuggling port, with millions of litres of beverages flowing through it every year.