MONTEVIDEO – Government officials and opposition leaders commemorated on Monday the 35th anniversary of the plebiscite that put an end to Uruguay’s 1973-1985 military dictatorship.
“It was the first time that a dictatorship fell via a referendum that, paradoxically, was convened and organized by the dictators themselves,” the governing leftist Frente Amplio coalition said in a statement on its Web site.
Almost 60 percent of voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have established a military-dominated National Security Council to act as a “guardian” of democracy.
A former head of the Colorado Party, Max Sapolinski, recalled in a Twitter message that 35 years ago he experienced “the emotion of voting for the first time, supporting the return to democracy.”
“On that Sunday, the people set a date and time for the dictatorship’s end,” Julio Maria Sanguinetti, who served as Uruguay’s president from 1985-1990 and again from 1995-2000, told a Montevideo newspaper.