“It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of our darling father,” wrote his children Alvaro, Javier and Ignacio Vazquez, stressing that it was a “natural” death caused by his illness.
The former president died “while resting in his home surrounded by relatives and friends,” said the family, who wished to “thank all Uruguayans for the affection he received for so many years “.
Thousands of Uruguayans took to the streets in Montevideo to say goodbye to the country’s first leftist president.
Departing from the center of the capital, the funeral procession arrived in the cemetery of the district where the former president was born. There, her children carried the coffin covered with the national flag, and then the family gathered for a religious tribute. After this brief tribute, the coffin was buried to the applause of those around him.
The current president, Luis Lacalle Pou (center-right), praised the “spirit of personal and political dialogue” of his predecessor. “He served his country and obtained important advances. He was the president of the Uruguayans”, he added, decreeing three days of national mourning.
“I want to be remembered as a serious and responsible president,” Tabaré Vazquez said in his last interview, broadcast barely a week ago.
His personal physician had announced in August 2019 that Mr. Vazquez, then president, was suffering from lung cancer, while stressing that this disease did not prevent him from performing his duties.
Tabaré Vazquez has twice ruled Uruguay under the label of Frente amplio (FA, left). His first five-year term was from 2005 to 2010, and the second from March 1, 2015 to March 1, 2020.
The oncologist distinguished himself by making the country in 2006 the first in Latin America, and the fifth in the world, to ban smoking from public places.
A fight that had a personal resonance for Tabaré Vazquez, marked by the death, between 1962 and 1968, of his sister, his mother and his father from cancer.