TABARÉ VÁSQUEZ – The Uruguayan left says goodbye to its president Tabaré Vásquez

In the neighborhood where he was born, in the heat of thousands of people and with the emotion to the surface, the Uruguayan left fired its president, Tabaré Vázquez, who will leave office on Sunday, March 1st.

In an event plagued with emotion, the Uruguayans gathered in a square in the popular La Teja neighborhood (west of Montevideo) a few meters from the Arbolito Club, founded by Vázquez himself in 1958.

Flags, songs, applause and shows of two murgas were the preamble to the central act, in which the president said goodbye to his people.

“Thank you Tabaré!”, Said many flags and banners carried by leftist coalition militants, the Frente Amplio (FA), alluding to who was twice president of the Uruguayans (2005-2010 and 2015-2020).

Vázquez is one of the main leaders of the Uruguayan left and was the one who headed the first presidency of the FA in the country’s history.

In addition, he was mayor of Montevideo in 1989 and has been one of those responsible for the growth of the left in the South American country.

2019 was not a simple year for the president, since in addition to suffering the death of his wife, Maria Auxiliadora Delgado, he also learned that he has lung cancer.

Videos, speeches and songs like the classic “and you see, the president is Tabaré” were felt throughout the hot night of the Montevidean summer.

When all the surprises and tributes to the president culminated, which included delivery of gifts and the appointment as honorary president of the Broad Front, Vázquez took the floor, notoriously excited.

“Nothing is achieved alone, what we achieved we did among all participating, working with people, convincing, gaining awareness,” said Vázquez.

Among other things, the president thanked his people, those who accompanied him in these years and all those who fell in love “with the best project the country has” for the population to live better.

After apologizing in advance in case “a tear” escaped at some point in the speech, Vázquez reviewed some main points of each Ministry of the Broad Front in these 15 years of government.

At the international level, he emphasized the diversification of Uruguay’s markets in these years (which went from exporting to 60 countries in 2005 to 165 in 2019) and the role played by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in defending “the fundamental principles and values” of international right.

Regarding this, he affirmed that Uruguay defended the non-interference of external actors in the conflicts of the countries (referring to the Venezuelan crisis) and to seek a peaceful solution to the controversies.

“The legacy that our broad front is going to leave to the Uruguayan people is a legacy that we have to defend, support, be convinced of the importance it has and that is above all this we have done among all,” Vázquez added.

Between his tears and those present and applause from his audience, the Uruguayan president said goodbye reading the poem “Do not give up” by Mario Benedetti.

“Don’t give up, please don’t give in / even if the cold burns / even if the fear bites / even if the sun sets and the wind stops / there is still fire in your soul / there is still life in your dreams”, it was one of the parts that made Vázquez more emotional and in which he had to stop for a few seconds to read it.

The current Uruguayan foreign minister and vice president in the first government of Vázquez, Rodolfo Nin Novoa, was one of those in charge of giving a speech prior to the president’s presentation.

Among other things, the foreign minister pointed out the mixture of emotions and memories that are generated for all the front-amps for saying goodbye to 15 years of government that, according to him, were “formidable” for the country.

“Uruguay has been resurrected and placed in the best consideration of the countries of the world,” he said.

At the close of the act, with music, applause and tears in the eyes of many of those present, Vázquez called on stage some of the most important figures of these 15 years of Government, such as the former vice president and current minister of Economy, Danilo Astori, or the former president and today senator, José Mujica (2010-2015) so that everyone greeted together.

Thus, the Frente Amplio dismissed who was one of the main responsible for the arrival of the left to power. Despite the defeat, both the public and the leaders of the political force hugged each other remembering these years and, they said, promised to return.

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