URUGUAY: Success of a Soft Coup

In a continent where military coups seem almost as common as peaceable elections, tiny Uruguay has been unique. Often described as the "Switzerland of South America," Uruguay, alone among Latin countries, could boast that not in this century had a democratically elected government been taken over by the military. Not, that is, until last week.

In a six-day contest of wills with President Juan María Bordaberry that ended Monday, the Uruguayan army and air force (later joined by the navy) pulled off a golpe blando, or "soft coup" —so called not only because it was bloodless, but because it left...

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