Photo: Flag of Uruguay
Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 189-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.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry sent their regards and praise to the country on this day:
On behalf of President Obama and the people of the United States, I congratulate the Uruguayan people on the 189th anniversary of your nation’s independence on August 25.
On August 25, 1825, Uruguay declared its independence. The heroics of Jose Gervasio Artigas’s legendary victory at the Battle of Las Piedras years earlier, however, sparked the imaginations of countless South Americans. Like Artigas, many would go on to fight for and earn their independence in the name of liberty and freedom.
Today, the relationship between our two nations is strong and rooted in shared ideals of democracy, rule of law, and human rights.
President Mujica’s visit to Washington, D.C. in May underscored our countries’ strong ties and reinforced our cooperation on economic issues, education, technological exchange, global security, and healthcare.
The United States wishes Uruguay a festive Independence Day celebration.