Uruguay Government expresses solidarity with Armenia on 106th anniversary of Genocide

On behalf of the national government, Uruguay’s Minister of Education and Culture Pablo da Silveira extend a very heartfelt greeting to the Armenian community on the 106th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. He added that the defense of this cause is consistent with Uruguay’s historical positions in defense of the legal order, human rights and self-determination.

“This April 24 commemorates 106 years of the Armenian genocide, which began that day in 1915 and lasted for the following years. In that period, more than a million and a half Armenians died, some were massacred, others died from exhaustion and hunger as a result of forced deportations. It was the first genocide of the 20th century. Unfortunately, it would not be the last,” da Silveira said.

The Minister noted that, faithful to its democratic traditions and respect for human rights, Uruguay has a long history of supporting the Armenian cause.

“We have the privilege of being the first country in the world to have officially recognized the tragedy of 1915,” he said. He added that, on the 50th anniversary of those events, the national Parliament approved a law that declared April 24 a Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Martyrs. The law was approved on April 20, 1965 and promulgated two days later by the then president of the National Council of Government, Washington Beltrán, with the signatures of the ministers Juan Pivel Devoto, Francisco Rodríguez Camusso and Wilson Ferreira Aldunate, he pointed out.

In 2002 – he continued – the Armenian president officially visited Uruguay and was received by the then president, Jorge Batlle. Later, in 2014, “a new president of Armenia arrived on an official visit and was received by President José Mujica.”

Similarly, the minister recalled that, in 2015, the centenary of the Armenian genocide was commemorated in the Legislative Palace, with the presence of the then president, Tabaré Vázquez, and former presidents Luis Alberto Lacalle, Julio María Sanguinetti, Jorge Batlle and José Mujica.

“Finally, on April 24, President Luis Lacalle Pou and Vice President Beatriz Argimon spoke publicly, recalling the genocide,” he added.

Da Silveira said that “the defense of the Armenian cause is a position consistent with the positions that our country always held in the international arena, in defense of the legal order, of human rights, of the self-determination of the peoples.”

He continued: “Furthermore, it is a cause that we feel is very much ours, because as a consequence of those events, Uruguay received a strong Armenian community, which has become an integral part of our coexistence. The thousands of Armenians who came here seeking peace, freedom and opportunities helped build a more dynamic and diverse society. “

“Their descendants have become a fundamental pillar of this common home that is Uruguay, a home that belongs to all of us who have been born here and to all those who come here in search of new horizons. On this special date, and on behalf of the national government, we send a very heartfelt greeting to the Armenian community,” he concluded.

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