Photo: Flag of Urugay
Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 186-year old independence from Spain. The Spanish arrived in 1516 and stayed for close to 300 years as it colonized the region and enslaved native populations. The fight for independence started in 1811 when national hero Jose Gervasio Artigas launched a revolution for freedom that was marked by the key Battle of Las Piedras. The country declared itself independent from Spain on 1825 some 14 years later.
Uruguay enjoys acclaim as one of the top 100 country’s with the highest quality of life in the world and being one of the least corrupt in South America. The country was once known as Oriental Republic of Uruguay and is home to 3.5 million plus people that will be celebrating today with fireworks, parades and concerts that will take place throughout the country.
The Obama Administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent their regards and praise to the country on this day:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I am delighted to send best wishes to all Uruguayans as you celebrate the anniversary of your independence this August 25. This is a moment to reflect on your rich history and the shared values of our two countries.
The relationship between the United States and Uruguay is firmly rooted in our work to expand democratic ideals, human rights and individual freedoms in our hemisphere and throughout the world. Uruguay has led by example with a strong commitment to the rule of law, human rights and economic development. Together, our countries are contributing to the recovery efforts in Haiti and to peacekeeping missions across the globe. Countries are more peaceful and prosperous because of our work together.
As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States looks forward to continuing to strengthen this relationship. I wish all Uruguayans a safe and happy independence day.