Feature

Uruguayans turn left

The week's news at a glance.

Montevideo, Uruguay

Voters in Uruguay this week elected the first left-wing president in their country’s 170-year history. Dr. Tabare Vazquez, in his third bid for the presidency, won a fraction more than 50 percent of the vote, narrowly avoiding a runoff with his closest rival, a centrist who captured 34 percent. Many South Americans have soured on the free-market economic reforms the U.S. has encouraged in the region, blaming them for rising poverty and unemployment. Prior to the Uruguay vote, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, and Venezuela elected candidates promising to focus on social programs for the poor. “Hopefully our message has been heard,” one voter said. “We want change.”

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