President elect Jose Pepe Mujica said that Uruguay has a strategic position in the region with a great future and he conceives the country not as a “wedge” but as a “bridge”.
Mujica made the statements on Friday during a forum with local businessmen and representatives of foreign corporations with interests in Uruguay.
“Uruguay has a strategic position in the region and therefore a great future”, but he also admitted that the country must be careful how it administrates relations with the region, a difficult task but strategic”.
“The region for us is something very serious. I can’t conceive Uruguay as a wedge or a plug, but rather as a bridge and this should be an issue of unity, a rallying point for all Uruguayans”, he insisted.
Further on Mujica called on Uruguayans not to blame the rest of the world for the evils and shortcomings of the country. “We must act with more responsibility”.
“The country has matured: the time we only asked for things and favours belongs to the past and has been replaced by a more responsible country. The time we blamed our problems on the world is over, the world remains unmoved by what happens to us, we must begin to depend on ourselves”, he insisted.
Mujica also called on all Uruguayans “to work more and talk less”, adding that “we’re not in paradise or pretend it is at hand’s reach, but we are certainly not at the door of the apocalypse”.
Finally he underlined that winning the elections was not something out of the blue or mere luck: “it was hard work, every day. All depends on our efforts”.
In related news the Electoral Court formally proclaimed Thursday the winning ticket of last Sunday’s run-off that will be taking office next March first for the following five years.
President Jose Mujica and Danilo Astori obtained the majority with 52.39% of the vote and the National Party ticket, Luis Alberto Lacalle and Jorge Larrañaga garnered 43.51%.
Even when voting is compulsory in Uruguay the turnout was spontaneously enthusiastic and reached 89.18%. Blank votes totalled 2.32% and null and spoilt votes, 1.75%.
The United States embassy in Montevideo also made public the statement by State Department spokesperson Ian Kelly on Sunday’s election: “We congratulate President-elect Mujica on his election and commend the people of Uruguay for their strong commitment to democracy.
“Uruguay is a valued partner of the United States in many areas, including international peacekeeping operations, and as a leader in the promotion of democracy and stability in the region.
“We look forward to working with the president-elect to deepen our partnership and advance common goals for the benefit of the people of Uruguay and of the Americas”.