MADRID – Spain’s King Juan Carlos, who announced this week his abdication in favor of Crown Prince Felipe, has been “a great friend and supporter of Latin American countries in their process of integration,” former Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez told Efe on Friday.
“All of us Latin Americans feel not only great respect and admiration, but also affection” for Juan Carlos I, Vazquez said in an interview with Efe at the end of his visit to Spain.
Vazquez added that the monarch also “lent a hand to Uruguay in finding a way out of the dictatorship,” referring to the military regime that ruled his country from 1973-1985.
He also praised the future King Felipe VI, calling him a “very good person, intelligent and very knowledgeable about Latin America.”
“He has also known how to win his share of respect and admiration” in Latin America, Vazquez said of the crown prince.
Vazquez, an oncologist who governed Uruguay from 2005-2010, is the candidate of the governing center-left Broad Front in the Oct. 26 presidential election.