We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Uruguay: Foreign Relations under Democratic Rule, 1985-90
Country Study > Chapter 4 > Government and Politics > Foreign Relations > Foreign Relations under Democratic Rule, 1985-90


With the return of democratic government in 1985, Uruguay's foreign policy underwent an abrupt change. After taking office, Sanguinetti vowed to maintain and increase diplomatic relations with every nation "that respects the international rules of noninterference in the internal affairs of other countries." He carried out this policy by renewing relations with Cuba, Nicaragua, and China and by strengthening relations with the Soviet Union.

Sanguinetti's first foreign affairs minister, Enrique Iglesias, conducted an intensive and successful diplomaticoffensive to restore his country's prestige. Once again, Uruguay began to host important international meetings, such as the September 1986 GATT conference and the second meeting of the presidents of the Group of Eight (the successor organization of the Contadora Support Group) in October 1988, at the seaside resort of Punta del Este. More world leaders visited Uruguay during the Sanguinetti administration than ever before in Uruguay's history.

An important element of the Sanguinetti government's foreign policy was the promotion of a more just world economy and of a more free and open trade system. Guided by Iglesias, Sanguinetti reintegrated Uruguay into the region, renewed and strengthened diplomatic and commercial relations with countries that were ignored for ideological reasons during the "military diplomacy" period, negotiated new markets for Uruguayan products, instigated a new round of negotiations in GATT, and designed a new Latin American strategy for dealing with the foreign debt. In April 1988, after Iglesias's election as president of the InterAmerican Development Bank (IDB), Luis A. Barrios Tassano becameSanguinetti's second foreign affairs minister. Barrios described Uruguayan foreign policy as "pluralist, multifaceted, nationalist, and flexible."

Data as of December 1990

Last Updated: December 1990

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uruguay was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Uruguay Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 142 of 167


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

($U) Uruguayan New Peso (UYU)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map