It's the 1980s in the small, Latin American nation of Parador. Parador is a poor, agricultural nation, and a longtime client of the United States. Presidente Felipe Guardado has recently died, and the power brokers in Parador have assembled to choose his successor.
The players represent these power brokers, assembled at a dinner in Presidente Guardado's honor. The players are jockeying for position in an uncertain political environment.
From the game materials.