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Uruguay is a small state with Brazil and Argentina as mighty neighbors. Half of its 3 million citizens live in the greater Montevideo area.

Little is known about the history. Early inhabitants known as Charrua were all slaughtered in 1831 and effectively sent into oblivion.
Portuguese explorers discovered Uruguay in 1512, a few years ahead of the Spanisch. Lack of gold and fierce resistance from the locals postponed settlements to the 17th century.
Spain and Portugal struggled for dominance and in 1724 Spain build a stronghold at Montevideo to keep the Portuguese at bay.
Uruguay's struggle for independence lasted from 1811 till 1828, with fighting the Spaniards, the Portuguese and finally themselves.
At the end of the 19th century many immigrants arrived, mostly from Italy and Spain giving the country a distinct European feeling.
Uruguay is South America's prime example of democracy, press freedom, tolerance and quality of living. The economy is mainly based on exports of agricultural products.
Uruguay is the only country that has legalized the growing (up to 6 plants) and possession of a few grams of cannabis for personal use. Since 2017 you can buy pot in pharmacies, but only after registration and limited to 40 grams per month.