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New leftist cabinet launched in Uruguay
www.chinaview.cn 2005-03-02 10:56:06

    MONTEVIDEO, March 1 (Xinhuanet) -- The first-ever leftist cabinet of Uruguay was appointed by President Tabare Vazquez on Tuesday.

    Vazquez, the first leftist president in the South American country's 180-year history, announced the list of cabinet after his inauguration.

    Jose Diaz, 72, who is a lawyer and has worked as secretary general of the Socialist Party from 1965 to 1972, bas been named interior minister. He was exiled in Argentina and Spain and had been a Lower House representative for 10 years since 1985.

    The foreign minister is Reinaldo Gargano, who has been a senator since 1984 and has worked as president of the Socialist Party since 2001. He went into exile in 1974. After his return to Uruguay, he had been the secretary general of the Socialist Party for 16 years.

    Danilo Astori, 64, has been appointed as economy minister. He established the Asamblea Uruguay in 1994 and has led it since then.He was a dean of the School of Economic Science and has been a senator since 1989.

    Azucena Berrutti, 75, has been named defense minister. She is alawyer and an expert on human rights. She was deputy secretary of the Montevideo Commune and a close partner to Vazquez.

    At a speech before the General Legislative Assembly, the president said his government will place particular importance on the regional bloc of MERCOSUR (The Common Market of the South ), reject terrorism in all its forms and not tolerate external interventions.

    "We will pursue an independent foreign policy and develop relations with the rest of the Latin American countries, without any exception," he said.

    On Tuesday, Vazquez also announced the resumption of diplomaticrelations with Cuba and unveiled a 100 million-dollar emergency social welfare plan to aid the poor.

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