MONTEVIDEO - Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa issued a statement addressed to expatriates on the occasion of Independence Day in Uruguay, which is celebrating the 190th anniversary of its birth.
"On a day like today, at Piedra Alta de la Florida 190 years ago, Uruguay declared itself independent," Nin Novoa said. "And it did it through two acts, three laws, but two of them fundamental. The Independence Law and Union Law."
"Since then, there has been a recurring discussion in Uruguay about the scope of these two laws, which appear to be contradictory: We declared ourselves independent from the Kingdom of Spain, from Portugal, from Algarve, and, at the same time, we declared ourselves annexed by the Provinces of the River Plate (Argentina)," the foreign minister said.
The discussion "must be left to historians and to the national historiography," Nin Novoa said. What is important now "is something that unites all Uruguayans, their respect for values about the state, sovereignty, independence and the nation."
Uruguayans, "wherever they are, they are Uruguay's ambassadors," the foreign minister said, calling on expatriates to "wrap themselves with the blue and white flag," the one created "by the third law passed on that Aug. 25, 1825."
"We have been free and independent 190 years. We will be free and independent for the rest of our lives. And to that end, the contribution you all make from overseas is fundamental to keep alive the values that distinguish us," Nin Novoa said.