Geographic and Governmental Profile of Uruguay

Background
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
Location
Southern South America, bordering the South Atlantic Ocean, between Argentina and Brazil
Geographic coordinates
33 00 S, 56 00 W
Continent / Subcontinent
South America
Area
total:
176,215 sq km
rank:
91
land:
175,015 sq km
water:
1,200 sq km
Area - comparative
slightly smaller than the state of Washington
Land boundaries
total:
1,648 km
border countries:
Argentina 580 km, Brazil 1,068 km
Coastline
660 km
Maritime claims
territorial sea:
12 nm
contiguous zone:
24 nm
exclusive economic zone:
200 nm
continental shelf:
200 nm or edge of continental margin
Climate
warm temperate; freezing temperatures almost unknown
Terrain
mostly rolling plains and low hills; fertile coastal lowland
Elevation extremes
lowest point:
Atlantic Ocean 0 m
highest point:
Cerro Catedral 514 m
Natural resources
arable land, hydropower, minor minerals, fish
Land use
arable land:
7.77%
permanent crops:
0.24%
other:
91.99% (2005)
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Irrigated land
2,180 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources
139 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
total:
3.15 cu km/yr (2%/1%/96%)
per capita:
910 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards
seasonally high winds (the pampero is a chilly and occasional violent wind that blows north from the Argentine pampas), droughts, floods; because of the absence of mountains, which act as weather barriers, all locations are particularly vulnerable to rapid changes from weather fronts
Environment - current issues
water pollution from meat packing/tannery industry; inadequate solid/hazardous waste disposal
Environment - international agreements
party to:
Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified:
Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - note
second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising
Country name
conventional long form:
Oriental Republic of Uruguay
conventional short form:
Uruguay
local long form:
Republica Oriental del Uruguay
local short form:
Uruguay
former:
Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
Government type
constitutional republic
Capital
name:
Montevideo
geographic coordinates:
34 51 S, 56 10 W
time difference:
UTC-3 (2 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)
daylight saving time:
+1hr, begins first Sunday in October; ends second Sunday in March
Administrative divisions
19 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento); Artigas, Canelones, Cerro Largo, Colonia, Durazno, Flores, Florida, Lavalleja, Maldonado, Montevideo, Paysandu, Rio Negro, Rivera, Rocha, Salto, San Jose, Soriano, Tacuarembo, Treinta y Tres
Independence
25 August 1825 (from Brazil)
Constitution
27 November 1966; effective 15 February 1967; suspended 27 June 1973; revised 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997
Legal system
civil law system based on the Spanish civil code
International law organization participation
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Suffrage
18 years of age; universal and compulsory
Executive branch
chief of state:
President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010); note - the president is both the chief of state and head of government
head of government:
President Jose "Pepe" MUJICA Cordano (since 1 March 2010); Vice President Danilo ASTORI Saragoza (since 1 March 2010)
cabinet:
Council of Ministers appointed by the president with parliamentary approval
elections:
president and vice president elected on the same ticket by popular vote for five-year terms (may not serve consecutive terms); election last held on 29 November 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)
election results:
Jose "Pepe" MUJICA elected president; percent of vote - Jose "Pepe" MUJICA 54.8%, Luis Alberto LACALLE 45.2%
Legislative branch
bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; vice president has one vote in the Senate) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)
elections:
Chamber of Senators - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014); Chamber of Representatives - last held on 25 October 2009 (next to be held in October 2014)
election results:
Chamber of Senators - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 16, Blanco 9, Colorado Party 5; Chamber of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Frente Amplio 50, Blanco 30, Colorado Party 17, Independent Party 2
Judicial branch
Supreme Court (judges are nominated by the president and elected for 10-year terms by the General Assembly)
Political parties and leaders
Broad Front (Frente Amplio) - formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA [Jorge BROVETTO] (a broad governing coalition that includes Movement for Popular Participation or MPP, New Space Party (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael MICHELINI], Progressive Alliance (Alianza Progresista) [Rodolfo NIN NOVOA], Socialist Party [Eduardo FERNANDEZ and Reinaldo GARGANO], Communist Party [Eduardo LORIER], Uruguayan Assembly (Asamblea Uruguay) [Danilo ASTORI], and Vertiente Artiguista [Mariano ARANA]); Colorado Party (Foro Batllista) [Pedro BORDABERRY and Julio Maria SANGUINETTI]; National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto LACALLE and Jorge LARRANAGA]
Political pressure groups and leaders
Chamber of Commerce and Export of Agriproducts; Chamber of Industries (manufacturer's association); Exporters Union of Uruguay; National Chamber of Commerce and Services; PIT/CNT (powerful federation of Uruguayan Unions - umbrella labor organization); Rural Association of Uruguay (rancher's association); Uruguayan Network of Political Women
other:
Catholic Church; students
International organization participation
CAN (associate), CD, CELAC, FAO, G-77, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, LAES, LAIA, Mercosur, MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM (observer), OAS, OPANAL, OPCW, PCA, UN, UNASUR, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, Union Latina, UNMOGIP, UNOCI, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador Carlos Alberto GIANELLI Derois
chancery:
1913 I Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
telephone:
[1] (202) 331-1313 through 1316
FAX:
[1] (202) 331-8142
consulate(s) general:
Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York
consulate(s):
San Juan (Puerto Rico)
Diplomatic representation from the US
chief of mission:
Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Thomas H. LLOYD
embassy:
Lauro Muller 1776, Montevideo 11200
mailing address:
APO AA 34035
telephone:
[598] (2) 418-7777
FAX:
[598] (2) 418-8611
Flag description
nine equal horizontal stripes of white (top and bottom) alternating with blue; a white square in the upper hoist-side corner with a yellow sun bearing a human face known as the Sun of May with 16 rays that alternate between triangular and wavy; the stripes represent the nine original departments of Uruguay; the sun symbol evokes the legend of the sun breaking through the clouds on 25 May 1810 as independence was first declared from Spain (Uruguay subsequently won its independence from Brazil)
the banner was inspired by the national colors of Argentina and by the design of the US flag
National symbol(s)
Sun of May (a sun-with-face symbol)
National anthem
name:
"Himno Nacional" (National Anthem of Uruguay)
lyrics/music:
Francisco Esteban ACUNA de Figueroa/Francisco Jose DEBALI
adopted 1848; the anthem is also known as "Orientales, la Patria o la tumba!" ("Uruguayans, the Fatherland or Death!"); it is the world's longest national anthem in terms of music (105 bars; almost five minutes); generally only the first verse and chorus are sung
Data source 1: All Above textual data, maps and flags were extracted from The World Factbook which was prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency and made available on the following link: The World Factbook. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsered or affiliated, in any way, by the US Central Intelligence Agency
Data source 2: Plots and Charts are constructed using the world bank public data catalog which can be viewed by visiting the following link: World Bank Data Catalog. Lebanese Economy Forum is not sponsored or affiliated, in any way, by the worldbank

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