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Officially known as the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Laos was a French protectorate until 1950, when it was granted some autonomy under Charles de Gaulle. In 1954, the country gained its independence as a constitutional monarchy. During the Vietnam War, it became involved when the North Vietnamese Army used it as a supply route, and it was an entirely socialist nation, but has little by little replaced the economic system. The capital of Laos is Vientiane.



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