Photo: Flag of Uruguay
Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 187-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 the people of Uruguay as you celebrate the 187th anniversary of your independence this August 25th.
Uruguay’s significant contributions to advancing peace and human rights have served as a beacon for individuals and countries the world over. We value your continued support of peacekeeping missions all across the globe – no country contributes more proportionately than Uruguay. We also commend Uruguay’s commitment to transparency and rule of law.
As you celebrate this special day, know that the United States stands with you. We look forward to strengthening the ties between our countries, and to expanding our cooperation in educational exchanges and other fields as we work together toward a more peaceful and prosperous world.