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  • Uruguay's Armed Forces were part of Operation Condor in the 1970s as the country experienced a bloody military dictatorship form 1973 to 1985.

    Uruguay's Armed Forces were part of Operation Condor in the 1970s as the country experienced a bloody military dictatorship form 1973 to 1985. | Photo: EFE

Published 23 November 2019

The far-right politician who belongs to the Cabildo Abierto party published a video addressed to members of the armed forces, calling for them to not vote for left-wing Broad Front.

Uruguay's Minister of Defense Jose Bayardi denounced Saturday former army general and far-right presidential candidate Guido Manini for inciting confrontations and rebellion of the military against democratic institutions, through a video on social media.

RELATED:
Uruguay: Martinez, Lacalle Pou Close Campaigns Prior to Ballot

The far-right politician who belongs to the Cabildo Abierto party published a video addressed to members of the armed forces, calling for them to not vote for left-wing Broad Front candidate Daniel Martenez on Sunday’s runoff elections. 

“From the government, they have systematically attacked the armed forces’ institutions and today they are asking for your vote. They are the same who have questioned the need for armed forces,” said the former general in his presentation.

In a similar fashion, on Friday the Uruguayan Military Center, a social club that brings together retired military from the far-right, shared an oped from the right-wing magazine Nation, in which leftists, especially those of the Board Front, were threatened with a possible political and judicial persecution if the right wins in the country.

Lawmakers and organizations have denounced the actions as “anti-democratic” and a violation of the nationwide ban of political campaigning prior to elections. 

They have insulted, mistreated, discredited and submerged humble Soldiers with the lowest salaries of the entire public administration ... but now they are asking for the vote. 
 

On Sunday, Uruguayans will take to the polls to chose between Martinez and Nationa Party candidate  Luis Lacalle Pou, the latter has formed a right-wing colation with liberals and the far-right lead by Manini, all with the aim of impeding another Broad Front win. 

The left-wing colation has won Uruguay’s past three presidential contests and has been governing the country for the past 15 years, achieving to lead the nation through significant growth in the economy, as well as a reduction of unemployment rates and the levels of poverty and extreme poverty.

Uruguay under the Broad Front has proven to be a successful model to alleviate inequality, reducing poverty to 8.1 percent from 40 percent since 2004 and increasing the educational budget to “more than US$2 billion.”

The leftist governments led by Pepe Mujica and Tabare Vasquez also consolidated a series of labor rights as well as social rights including same-sex marriage, the legalization of abortion under certain circumstances and the expansion of transgender people’s rights.

However, and despite these successes, things may be different this time as Ernesto Talvi, the Colorado Party presidential candidate, and far-right retired officer Manini, along with the leaders of two other minor parties, rushed to throw their support behind Lacalle Pou, enabling him to form a right-wing coalition.

As rising crime in the South American country became a top concern for voters over the last years, Martinez’s opponent, Lacalle Pou addressed the issue during his campaign’s closing rallies.

“We are going to go to every corner of the country to fight the industry of poverty, and did you see those places where the State gave up its presence? The famous red zones. Well, these are the first place the next government will go to, ” the candidate of the National Party said Tuesday.

Lacalle Pou added that on March 2 [when the next president will take office], the police will receive clear instructions: "to end the red zones."

Sunday’s runoff will take place in an unstable regional context, after weeks of protest and conflict in Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile.

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