Today in our meeting at the Torre Ejecutiva, I congratulated President Luis Lacalle Pou on his extremely successful first 100 days in office. Both his leadership and the response of the Uruguayan people have elevated Uruguay’s position on the global stage, demonstrating to the world how a country can successfully manage the COVID-19 crisis.
During these challenging times, President Lacalle Pou’s response to the COVID-19 health crisis limited the spread of coronavirus, mitigated the impact on the economy, and most importantly, saved lives. The administration is keeping the engines of the economy moving, by helping small and medium enterprises, boosting unemployment benefits, and working closely with the international financial institutions to build a strong economy for the future. The humanitarian corridor allowed stranded citizens from different countries, including 131 from the United States, to safely return home. As a clear vote of confidence in the government’s approach, the U.S. government has so far contributed more than $1.3 million to support Uruguay’s response to the pandemic.
The United States appreciates the deepening of cooperation between our two countries. The Lacalle Pou administration’s rapid extradition of Gerardo González Valencia, a high-ranking member of the Jalisco New Generation Cartel, to the United States after languishing for three years also represents a renewed energy in working together to strengthen security in the region. The extradition deals an important blow to a major international drug cartel.
We congratulate this administration for charting a new course with Venezuela. Uruguay’s vote for the re-election of OAS Secretary Luis Almagro and its public support for the Democratic Transition Framework represent new steps that will continue to apply pressure on the Maduro regime and ultimately lead to a return to democracy in Venezuela while alleviating the country’s ongoing humanitarian crisis.
President Lacalle Pou has boldly advanced his campaign promises even during a global pandemic and economic meltdown. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the administration of President Lacalle Pou and the Uruguayan people in the years to come.