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Uruguay’s Bicentennial

Press Statement

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
October 14, 2011

A video message is available here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YQHep_H-9Y and http://youtu.be/boa-38pkGm4 [Spanish]

Congratulations on your bicentennial Uruguay! I am delighted to send best wishes to all of you as you celebrate your many accomplishments and the 200-year anniversary of the Gritto de Asencio.The relationship between the United States and Uruguay is strong, based on our shared ideals, common values and history. The founders of both our countries worked hard for the freedom and democracy that we cherish today. Now, we are promoting these values around the world.

Together, we are working to expand education, to broaden regional access to markets, to develop alternative sources of energy, advance scientific research and innovation. Because of our work on a range of issues, countless countries are more peaceful, more prosperous and looking forward to a brighter future.

Whether you are celebrating along the riverbanks of the Mercedes, or honoring your rich history with family and friends in Montevideo, please know that the United States stands with you as a partner and friend. I wish all Uruguayans a safe and happy bicentennial celebration. And I look forward to finding new ways to strengthen our relationship as we work together for a better world.

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Uruguay’s Independence Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 24, 2010

A video message is available here: http://www.state.gov/video/?videoid=588268558001

A Spanish version is here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgayZZ-d6Ac

Happy Independence Day, Uruguay. On August 25th, the United States joins you in celebrating your many accomplishments this past year, and in honoring your leadership in our region and across the world.

During my visit to Montevideo in March, I had the privilege of meeting with your President and discussing the many ways in which our nations are working together to address common challenges. And I certainly got a taste of Uruguayan warmth and hospitality, and of the friendship that exists between our peoples. The United States is proud of our partnership with Uruguay – a partnership deeply rooted in our common commitment to democratic ideals and individual freedoms. Uruguay’s elections earlier this year, and your success in forming a unified government, are models of democratic pluralism that can and should be emulated around the world.
Your country is a leader in advancing peace and social justice, both at home and abroad. And you have made important contributions to the ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti, and to peacekeeping missions all across the globe.
I wish all of you a safe and happy Independence Day celebration. We look forward to continuing the close relationship between our countries in the coming years, and expanding our cooperation into new areas as we work together toward a safer, more peaceful, more prosperous world.

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Earlier today, as I was able to grab a few minutes here and there, I posted a series of pictures from Secretary Clinton’s day in Uruguay.  Well, there was a plethora of pictures from today by the time I got home, so these are some more I want to share.

Here she is arriving in Montevideo.  When she travels, I really like to have the obligatory arrival picture.  She has a way of walking down those steps.

She also has a way of walking the tarmac..
This next series show her with outgoing Uruguayan President Tabare Vaquez.  I love their greeting. 



She also met with the President of Paraguay, Fernando Lugo.




She attended the inauguration at the Legialative Palace.

Originally, she was also  supposed to meet with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in Uruguay and then to leave after the inauguration for Chile, however, those plans changed today.  Instead of meeting with Kirchner in Uruguay, and instead of going directly to Chile, she flew, instead to Buenos Aires, and was received by Kirchner there.  (Upcoming separate post on this because there’s just more history to that than I want to handle in this post.)  She will visit Chile tomorrow.  Apparently that stop has been attenuated to some extent, but she certainly will meet with President Michelle Bachelet and President-elect Sebastian Pinera.

So this afternoon, she boarded her Hillforce One for the short hop to B.A.  (Ohhhh!  I wish I were there.  Someday, I HAVE to go to Argentina!)

Upcoming: Hillary with Cristina at the Casa Rosada. 

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Oh those Malvinas keep coming up!  Whoops!  Falklands?  Whatever.

Remarks With Uruguayan President-elect Jose Mujica

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
March 1, 2010

PRESIDENT-ELECT MUJICA: (Via interpreter) Good morning, everybody. On behalf of my home and my country, I want to very especially thank (inaudible), Madam Secretary of State Clinton has had in coming here. Sometime, a short time ago, (inaudible) Secretary of State with whom we have been making (inaudible) like to undertake with the United States in the region. We already have some commercial agreements, but we want to move forward. We want your cooperation in science, especially in research. We are – we (inaudible) research at the universities and we’d like to work together. We offered also our (inaudible) to contribute to whatever can be done to mitigate the unavoidable contradictions that history has imposed, especially in Latin America.

We are – we have to admit that we have prejudices that we sometimes (inaudible) with stereotypes. We were very surprised to see that a black would have become the president of the United States. That is something that we had never thought that it would be possible, and that was out of (inaudible) prejudice on our side. That is a lesson and a very (inaudible) lesson that we learned and that keeps us promoting the changes that have been good (inaudible) in America.

So we wish you the very best in that respect and we want you to know that in the future, we are going to be willing to contribute in the trade of peace. (Inaudible) efforts will be enough to make peace. That is something that we must really to cooperate with. So once again, thank you for coming.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much, President-elect. And I am honored to be here on behalf of President Obama and the United States of America. We join you in celebrating the strength of Uruguayan democracy and the progress that your country has made and we know will continue to make in the future.

While today is a day of celebration, it is also a time when our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Chile. I will be in Santiago tomorrow to meet with President Bachelet and President-elect Piñera to work with the government and people of Chile in solidarity in recovery from this earthquake.

But now I wish to not only congratulate the president-elect and the new government, but to applaud the way in which the government is unifying and bringing together even opposition parties to work on behalf of the people of Uruguay. Indeed, Uruguayans are rightly proud of their leaders and their democracy and this peaceful and orderly transition of power brought about by an election. Indeed, your country, President-elect Mujica, is a model for many others not only in our hemisphere but throughout the world.

I thank Uruguay for the peacekeepers that you send in large numbers compared to your population. I commend you for the leadership role you are playing as the chair of the Friends of Haiti group. And as you and I discussed, sir, we will be working with you in partnership on behalf of education, science and technology, business, trade, and investment.

So again, sir, it is a deep privilege for me to be back in Uruguay 12 years after my first visit, and to see some familiar faces, but mostly to congratulate you, your new government, and the resolve and democratic values of the people of your country. And of course, Mr. President-elect, it is a personal pleasure to see a first lady who is also a senator. (Laughter.)

MODERATOR: We’ll take two questions, first from Kirit Radia of ABC News.

QUESTION: Hi, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: But you should go. Yeah, yeah. I will answer their questions. You have to go to get ready. Yeah, yeah. Thank you, sir.

QUESTION: Hi, Madam Secretary.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Yes.

QUESTION: I’d like to ask you more about your trip to Chile. I’d like to know more about what you plan to do (inaudible) today that the Chilean Government is now asking for some assistance. What is the U.S. prepared to do (inaudible)?

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, both President Obama and I spoke with President Bachelet shortly after the earthquake, offered whatever assistance the government might need – put on stand-by search-and-rescue teams, other assets that we thought might be needed. They have asked for communications equipment, some of which I am bringing on our plane. Other technical equipment will be flown there in addition. But one of the reasons why they have asked me to continue my trip is to assess whatever else they might need and immediately to begin the process of providing it.

MODERATOR: Second question is from Bill Faries of Bloomberg News.

QUESTION: Madam Secretary, welcome to Uruguay.

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you.

QUESTION: Argentina is greatly concerned about the beginning of oil drilling, or oil exploration efforts off the coast of the Falkland Islands. I was hoping you could clarify the U.S. position on this. Is – do you believe that this is an issue that the U.S. – perhaps you (inaudible) – that Argentina and the UK should sit down and discuss in terms of the future sovereignty of the islands?

SECRETARY CLINTON: As you know, we’ll be going to Buenos Aires later today. I look forward to meeting with President de Kirchner and discussing a full range of issues. It is our position that this is a matter to be resolved between the United Kingdom and Argentina. If we can be of any help in facilitating such an effort, we stand ready to do so. Thank you all.

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Some very nice pictures are becoming available, so I thought I would share a few.

She met with women legislators.

She also met with outgoing President Tabare Vazquez.

Then, of course, she met with President-elect Jose Mujica.



This was taken as her delegation left the meeting with Jose Mujica.

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I hope this is not premature of me, but I have to hand it to Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela who is doing the best job so far of tweeting a trip! He sent the link to these pictures. There are more at the State Department Flickr site. I am at the office and do not have time to upload everything right now.

Secretary Valenzuela also communicated that a stop in Buenos Aires has been added to the itinerary. Secretary Clinton will meet with Argentine President Cristina Kirchner there. I heard on the news this morning that the Chile stop will be brief.




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About three hours ago, Assistant Secretary Arturo Valenzuela, accompanying Secretary Clinton on her Latin American tour,  tweeted that they were Wheels Up from Andrews Air Force Base. We all, I am sure, wish everyone on board a safe and successful trip. The first stop is Montevideo Uruguay for the inauguration of the new President of Uruguay, Jose Mujica. Then they will head for earthquake-stricken Chile.

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