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Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:40 PM

Uruguay, Little Trailblazer That Could

Uruguay, Little Trailblazer That Could
Posted: 12/22/2013 8:15 pm

As 2013 hurtles to a close, Uruguay has been receiving an avalanche of worldwide recognition. London's The Guardian called the entire country "heroic" and said that it deserved a Nobel Peace Prize, Foreign Policy named President José Mujica among its "100 Leading Global Thinkers" for "redefining the Latin American left," and The Economist just named Uruguay its first-ever "Country of the Year." As a festive top-off, Buzzfeed published 21 reasons that everyone should move to Uruguay in 2014.

As a Uruguayan who grew up in the diaspora, accustomed to blank stares upon telling people where I'm from, and as an author of books about Uruguay, I find that there is a profound whiplash that comes with this level of global attention. We Uruguayans often experience our nation, culture, and realities as peripheral to global affairs. We are a nation of 3 million people sandwiched between two giants, Argentina and Brazil. We often feel invisible. How refreshing, then, to suddenly be heralded as a trailblazer for progressive change.

What's spurring all the attention?

Its primary source is Uruguay's groundbreaking new marijuana law. On Dec. 10 this tiny nation became the first in the world to legalize the cultivation and sale of marijuana, a project that aims to combat the illicit drug trade and its accompanying scourge of social violence, providing an alternative to the failing, U.S.-led war on drugs that may well be a model for other nations in the Americas and beyond. In other words, this is not just a law about smoking pot; it's a law about peace and safety.

There are other transformative policies that aggregate to create this potent moment in Uruguay. Among them:

• Uruguay legalized gay marriage this year, becoming the second Latin American nation to do so, and the 12th in the world. Even gay activists have been shocked by how many same-sex marriages have been officiated here since then. (My wife and I had the privilege of attending one: that of two loving men who've been together for 34 years. Their friends, neighbors, and former colleagues swarmed them with love and cheers. I should not have worn mascara.) Although homophobia certainly still exists, the social climate has been changing at a dizzying speed, thanks to the work of activists and remarkable public awareness campaigns like this one.

More:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carolina-de-robertis/uruguay-little-trailblazer-that-could_b_4490748.html

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Reply Uruguay, Little Trailblazer That Could (Original post)
Judi Lynn Dec 2013 OP
idwiyo Dec 2013 #1
ConcernedCanuk Dec 2013 #2

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 01:47 PM

1. k&r

Judy, can you please repost your locked LBN OP about José Mujica here in GD?

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 10:03 PM

2. Indeed they are

 

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A good read at Wiki:

/snip/

Uruguay ranks first in the world on a per capita basis for its contributions to the United Nations peacekeeping forces, with 2,513 soldiers and officers in 10 UN peacekeeping missions.

/snip/

The Port of Montevideo, handling over 1.1 million containers annually, is the most advanced container terminal in South America.

/snip/

"Uruguay is part of the One Laptop Per Child project, and in 2009 became the first country in the world to provide a laptop for every primary school student"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uruguay
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For a tiny country with just over 3 million people, they appear quite progressive.

Hope the USA don't harass them over this cannabis thing.

USA's got a bee up it's ass over that stuff.

(really?????)

CC

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