Tabaré Vázquez Biography

Tabaré Vázquez, a former oncologist and member of the Uruguayan political party ‘Frente Amplio’, served as the 39th President of Uruguay. After unsuccessful attempts in previous presidential elections, Vázquez finally won the majority of votes on his third try and implemented various economic reforms, including the successful ‘Plan de Atención Nacional a la Emergencia Social’ (‘PANES’) to combat poverty. He also prioritized strengthening international relations. Despite facing controversy over his implementation of the ‘I.R.P.F’ tax system, Vázquez remains popular and has recently been re-elected for a second term as President.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas
  • Died At Age: 80
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: María Auxiliadora Delgado
    • Father: Héctor Vázquez
    • Mother: Elena Rosas
    • Children: Álvaro Vázquez, Fabián Vázquez, Ignacio Vázquez, Javier Vázquez
  • Presidents
  • Political Leaders
  • Political ideology: Political party Socialist Party
  • Died on: December 6, 2020
  • Place of death: Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Notable Alumni: University Of The Republic
  • Diseases & Disabilities: Lung Cancer
  • Cause of Death: Lung Cancer
  • City: Montevideo, Uruguay
  • Ideology: Socialists
  • More Facts
  • Education: University Of The Republic

Childhood & Early Life

Tabaré Ramón Vázquez Rosas was born on January 17, 1940, in Montevideo, the capital city of Uruguay. In 1972, he graduated in Oncology, from the medical school affiliated to the ‘Universidad de la República’. Four years later, the government of France offered him a scholarship to pursue further training from the ‘Gustave Roussy Institute’, Paris.


Tabaré’s political career kick-started when he served as Montevideo’s Mayor from 1990-95, as a member of the ‘Frente Amplio’ socialist-leftist political party. During the same decade he contested in the presidential elections twice, but lost out on both occasions. Vázquez contested in the 2004 elections, winning with almost 51% votes, and was sworn in early the following year. With this historic win, he became the first Socialist-Leftist Uruguayan President who did not belong to any of the major political parties of the nation.

Economic Reforms and Social Development

Tabaré introduced certain new economic reforms in the country after assuming his office. One of the most important policies was the ‘Impuesto a la Renta de las Personas Fisica’, or the ‘I.R.P.F. Reform’ (‘Income Tax on Natural Persons’). The reform replaced tax slabs with a uniform rate of personal income tax, and reduced value added tax. It was a controversial reform since it meant that certain groups of citizens would have to pay more taxes. Though it was also quite unlike Tabaré’s Finance Minister Danilo Astori’s careful economic policies, it met with huge success.

The President’s term was marked by a distinct ground of social equality and justice. Vázquez used $100 million in a contingency plan titled ‘Plan de Atención Nacional a la Emergencia Social’ (‘PANES’), for meeting the basic needs of the citizens for the next two years. ‘PANES’, which introduced new food and health programmes, and was run by Marina Arismendi, Minister of Social Development, with the goal of eradicating poverty and hunger, was initially criticised. However, it was similar to Brazil’s emergency plan ‘Fome Zero’, and was considered to be a major step in bringing about social development.

In November 2005, he formed a committee of experts to investigate the disappearance and murder of innumerable leftists that had occurred during the final military dictatorship. His endeavour was successful, and several corpses were discovered in the plausible sites. The same year, the Parliament decided to pass a law known as ‘Ley de Salud Sexual y Reproductiva’, after receiving a majority of votes for its approval, from the ‘Frente Amplio’ members. The law aimed at reversing an old rule against abortion, and legalizing the medical procedure in Uruguay. However, despite majority approval, the President vetoed the decision to legalize abortion in the country.

Foreign Relations and Controversies

One of the challenges that Tabaré faced during his term, was the dispute with the government of Argentina, where the latter claimed that Uruguayan pulp factories are polluting the Uruguay River. Vázquez became the first Uruguayan President to travel to nations like South Korea and New Zealand, thus promoting foreign relations. He is also known for having maintained amicable relationships with the US, despite refusing to sign the ‘Free Trade Area of the Americas’ pact initiated by former US President George Bush.

The President has often been involved in political controversies, including the time when, in 2007, a Uruguayan Navy ship was found carrying Iranian weapons. This occurred at a time when the United Nations was promoting global peace by condemning the trade of ammunitions. Tabaré attended several important events in Cuba, including a conference with Cuban President Raúl Castro, in June 2008. The same year, he gave his resignation as the leader of his party, because of protest over his refusal to pass the abortion law.

Personal Life & Legacy

The President of Uruguay is married to María Auxiliadora Delgado, and the couple have four sons, Ignacio, Álvaro, Javie, and Fabián, the latter being adopted.

Major Works

As the President of Uruguay, Vázquez took mammoth steps to eradicate poverty by introducing food, educational, and health care reforms in the country. Under his presidency, the poverty in the nation dropped from 32% in 2004 to 20% within a period of five years.

Awards & Achievements

For his efforts to control the use of tobacco in Uruguay, the ‘World Health Organization’ felicitated Vázquez in 2006 with the ‘Director General’s Award’. The government of Qatar honoured the president of Uruguay with their ‘Order of Merit’ in 2007. He received the rank of ‘Grand Collar of the National Order of San Lorenzo’ from the Ecuadorian government in September 2010.


This Uruguayan President is famous for his love for football and he served as the President of the ‘Club Progreso’ team from 1979-89. In the last year of his term as the President of the club, he led the team to its only victory in the ‘Professional National Championship’.

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