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currency: Uruguayan peso (UYU)
Official languages
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National anthem
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Uruguay profile
Uruguay is the second-smallest South American country (after Suriname); most of the low-lying landscape (three-quarters of the country) is grassland, ideal for cattle and sheep raising. Often called the Switzerland of South America for a stable democracy and social benefits such as free education, Uruguay also has a coast likened to the Riviera.
Uruguay history
Montevideo, founded by the Spanish in 1726 as a military stronghold, soon took advantage of its natural harbor to become an important commercial center. Claimed by Argentina but annexed by Brazil in 1821, Uruguay declared its independence four years later and secured its freedom in 1828 after a three-year struggle. The administrations of President Jose BATLLE in the early 20th century established widespread political, social, and economic reforms that established a statist tradition. A violent Marxist urban guerrilla movement named the Tupamaros, launched in the late 1960s, led Uruguay's president to cede control of the government to the military in 1973. By yearend, the rebels had been crushed, but the military continued to expand its hold over the government. Civilian rule was not restored until 1985. In 2004, the left-of-center Frente Amplio Coalition won national elections that effectively ended 170 years of political control previously held by the Colorado and Blanco parties. Uruguay's political and labor conditions are among the freest on the continent.
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Conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay

Conventional short form: Uruguay

Local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

Local short form: Uruguay

Formerly known as: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province
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Uruguay's capital city is Montevideo
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Uruguay Constitution:

27 November 1966;
effective 15 February 1967;
suspended 27 June 1973;
revised 26 November 1989 and 7 January 1997
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Uruguay population growth rate: 0.24%
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Uruguay highest point: Cerro Catedral 514 m
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Uruguay lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m
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About 8% of Uruguay's land is arable.
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Rio Negro is the Longest River in Uruguay
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Uruguay birth rate is 13 births/1,000 population
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Uruguay infant mortality rate is 9 deaths/1,000 live births
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Uruguay fertility rate is 1.89 children born/woman
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Uruguay climate:

warm temperate;
freezing temperatures almost unknown
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Top 10 cities of Uruguay with populations (2012 est.) are:
1. Montevideo: 1,304,687
2. Salto: 104,011
3. Ciudad de la Costa: 95,176
4. Paysand├║: 76,412
5. Las Piedras: 71,258
6. Rivera: 64,465
7. Maldonado: 62,590
8. Tacuaremb├│: 54,755
9. Melo: 51,830
10. Mercedes: 41,974
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Uruguay ethnic groups:

white - 88%

mestizo - 8%

black - 4%

Amerindian (practically nonexistent)
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Uruguay Exports:

dairy products
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Uruguay Imports:

refined oil
crude oil
passenger and other transportation vehicles
vehicles parts
cellular phones
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bicameral General Assembly or Asamblea General consists of Chamber of Senators or Camara de Senadores (30 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms; vice president has one vote in the Senate) and Chamber of Representatives or Camara de Representantes (99 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

Administrative Divisions:
19 departments (departamentos, singular - departamento)
1. Artigas
2. Canelones
3. Cerro Largo
4. Colonia
5. Durazno
6. Flores
7. Florida
8. Lavalleja
9. Maldonado
10. Montevideo
11. Paysandu
12. Rio Negro
13. Rivera
14. Rocha
15. Salto
16. San Jose
17. Soriano
18. Tacuarembo
19. Treinta y Tres
Political parties and leaders:
Broad Front (Frente Amplio) - formerly known as the Progressive Encounter/Broad Front Coalition or EP-FA [Monica XAVIER] (a broad governing coalition that includes Movement for Popular Participation or MPP, New Space Party (Nuevo Espacio) [Rafael MICHELINI], Progressive Alliance (Alianza Progresista) [Rodolfo NIN NOVOA], Socialist Party [vacant], Communist Party [Eduardo LORIER], Uruguayan Assembly (Asamblea Uruguay) [Danilo ASTORI], and Vertiente Artiguista [Enrique RUBIO]); Colorado Party (Vamos Uruguay) [Martha MONTANER]; Independent Party [Pablo MIERES]; National Party or Blanco [Luis Alberto HEBER]