Tabaré Vázquez died: the leftist chief who began the renovation in Uruguay

He was the primary president of the Frente Amplio and dominated twice. Oncologist, he led a robust marketing campaign towards tobacco. However he could not beat lung most cancers.

On the age of 80, the previous president of Uruguay Tabaré Vázquez died. “Nothing is achieved alone, what was achieved we did collectively collaborating, working with folks, convincing, gaining consciousness.” Thus he stated goodbye to energy, in February this yr, in the course of a well-liked pageant within the neighborhood the place he was born, in Montevideo, with a phrase that guided his authorities.

A crowd had gathered in a sq. within the common La Teja neighborhood (within the west of the capital) just a few meters from the Arbolito Membership, based by Vázquez himself in 1958, to display their help for the person who left energy after a second 5-year mandate to provide rise to the brand new center-right authorities of Luis Lacalle Pou.

It wasn’t only a farewell to energy. Vázquez had already eliminated the presidential sash as soon as, in March 2010, when his first time period ended and he left José “Pepe” Mujica with the problem of advancing with the historic flip that the nation had taken.

Vázquez, from the Broad Entrance, was the primary center-left president after the bloody army dictatorship that dominated from 1973 to 1985 and a string of center-right governments.

Uruguayan legal guidelines don’t enable fast reelection, so he needed to wait 5 years to return to the Authorities Palace. Within the 2014 elections, he defeated Lacalle Pou, from the Nationwide Get together (Blanco) and resumed command to advance the trail that he had opened a decade earlier and that Mujica deepened.

This yr, when he needed to go away his chair to the center-right coalition that returned to energy, he knew he wouldn’t return.

The farewell in La Teja was, maybe, a common goodbye to the folks of Uruguay, conscious that point was starting to beat the race. His best adversary was now not a political chief. It was lung most cancers that he was identified in 2019 and that marked the final months of his presidency, though he determined to remain in workplace throughout therapy and confirmed power till the final day of his time period.

The most cancers analysis got here shortly after the loss of life of his spouse, María Auxiliadora Delgado, whom he had married in 1964. They’d three youngsters.

Vázquez, himself a medical oncologist who headed a robust combat towards smoking, was the one who introduced publicly, in August final yr, that he had a “malignant nodule.” He was operated on and in September he started radiotherapy therapy.

His docs then introduced that the president’s response was good and Vázquez continued together with his agenda. In December 2019, he was in Buenos Aires for the inauguration of Alberto Fernández as president.

With out the charisma of Pepe Mujica, Vázquez was one of many fundamental leaders of the Uruguayan left, though he embodied the extra average wing of the Frente Amplio. Earlier than reaching the presidency, he had been elected as mayor of Montevideo in 1989 and was a type of liable for the expansion of the left within the nation.

Born in January 1940 right into a modest household, he obtained a medical diploma and specialised in radiation oncology after his mom, sister, and father died of most cancers. When he grew to become president in 2005 he was already a medical reference in Uruguay and through his first time period he continued to follow.

Vazquez made well being one of many pillars of his presidency, with the creation of the Nationwide Built-in Well being System, which ensured entry to complete well being companies for all inhabitants.

He obtained a number of awards for his vigorous battle towards tobacco and promoted restrictive legal guidelines on consumption, such because the prohibition of smoking in public areas and promoting, and the incorporation of robust pictures on cigarette packages to sensitize people who smoke.

This led to a million-dollar lawsuit by the large Philip Morris towards Uruguay earlier than the Worldwide Middle for Settlement of Funding Disputes (ICSID). In 2016, the court docket dominated in favor of the nation and compelled the tobacco firm to pay the prices of the method.

Discreet and low-key, Vázquez was a singular president in Latin America: he used to measure his public appearances, spoke little and didn’t use social networks to speak.

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