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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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Transportation

Airports World Ranking: 63
94 (2012)

Airports - with paved runways
Total 11
Over 3,047 m 1
1,524 to 2,437 m 4
914 to 1,523 m 4
Under 914 m 2 (2012)

Airports - with unpaved runways
Total 83
1,524 to 2,437 m 3
914 to 1,523 m 27
Under 914 m 53 (2012)

Pipelines
Gas 226 km; oil 155 km (2010)

Railways World Ranking: 77
Total 1,641 km
Standard gauge
1,641 km 1.435-m gauge (1,200 km operational) (2010)

Roadways World Ranking: 62
Total 77,732 km
Paved 7,743 km
Unpaved 69,989 km (2010)

Waterways World Ranking: 50
1,600 km (2011)

Merchant marine World Ranking: 100
Total 16
By type
Bulk carrier 1, cargo 2, chemical tanker 3, passenger/cargo 6, petroleum tanker 3, roll on/roll off 1
Foreign-owned
8 (Argentina 1, Denmark 1, Greece 1, Spain 5)
Registered in other countries 1 (Liberia 1) (2010)

Ports and terminals
Montevideo


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  Uruguay (Montevideo):


  GPS points from Uruguay (Montevideo)


Sauce Departamento De Rio Negro

Villa Serrana Lavalleja



Verdun Lavalleja

Arroyo De Las Conchas Departamento De Durazno

Yacare Artigas




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