MONTEVIDEO – Spain’s King Juan Carlos said on Saturday that Uruguay is an example of democratic coexistence, at a ceremony during which he recalled his visit in 1983 when this South American country struggled to end its dictatorship and support its democratic parties.
“Uruguay is an excellent Ibero-American example of how to coexist democratically despite the many different points of view on each specific policy, while maintaining a commitment to preserving its political institutions and improving the standard of living of all its citizens,” the monarch said.
In a few words spoken at a lunch attended by the country’s most prominent figures, he said that what connects him to Uruguay is “an old relationship of shared affection that reached a very high point” when he visited it “in difficult moments of discord in the Uruguayan family.”
“Fortunately those times are now history,” he said, “and the country has resumed, with more strength than ever, its now hundred-year-old commitment to strengthening its democratic institutions and its respect for human rights.”
He referred to Uruguay as “this small grand country” that “gives an example of serene capability to create internal understanding and show it can be done.”
This is King Juan Carlos’ third visit to Uruguay, following the trips he made in 1983 and again in November 2006, when he attended the 16th Ibero-American Summit held in Montevideo.