Photo: Flag of Uruguay
Today, all of Uruguay is celebrating and rejoicing its 188-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 send best wishes to the Uruguayan people on the 188th anniversary of your nation’s independence this August 25.
Our relationship is strong and rooted in the shared values of democracy, rule of law, and human rights. In these and other areas, Uruguay is an important partner for the United States and a model for other nations. We look forward to expanding institutional and educational exchanges, exploring new opportunities for trade between our countries, and continuing to cultivate our relationship in the years to come.
The United States wishes Uruguay a festive independence day celebration.