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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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Military

Military branches
Uruguayan Armed Forces: Uruguayan National Army (Ejercito Nacional Uruguaya, ENU), Uruguayan National Navy (Armada Nacional del Uruguay; includes naval air arm, Naval Rifle Corps (Cuerpo de Fusileros Navales, Fusna), Maritime Prefecture in wartime), Uruguayan Air Force (Fuerza Aerea Uruguaya, FAU) (2010)

Military service age and obligation
18-30 years of age for voluntary military service; up to 40 years of age for specialists; enlistment is voluntary in peacetime, but the government has the authority to conscript in emergencies; minimum 6-year education (2009)

Manpower available for military service
Males age 16-49 771,159
Females age 16-49 780,932 (2010 est.)

Manpower fit for military service
Males age 16-49 649,025
Females age 16-49 654,903 (2010 est.)

Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually
Male 27,564
Female 26,811 (2010 est.)

Military expenditures World Ranking: 89
1.6% of GDP (2006)


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  Uruguay (Montevideo):


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