U.S. Embassy Montevideo - Archives

U.S. Speaker of the House of Representatives visits Uruguay during South America tour

Speaker J. Dennis Hastert leads delegation from US to meet officials, press in Uruguay.


Jan. 8, 2004


Photo gallery below

J. Dennis Hastert, President of the House of Representatives of the US Congress led a delegation of eight Republican and one Democrat Representatives to Montevideo and Colonia in Uruguay Jan. 6 and 7.

Speaker Hastert and his delegation arrived in Montevideo Tuesday evening (Jan. 6) to attend a reception dinner hosted by Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein and his wife, Audrey Silverstein. The group toured Montevideo on Wednesday (Jan. 7), including a special walk-through of the Legislative Palace and a bus tour, which wound through the old city, the Rambla and the Port Market areas. The group also had several high level meetings with President Jorge Batlle and Jorge Chapper, President of Uruguay's House of Representatives.

Rep. Hastert, who is serving his third term as Speaker and his ninth term as the Republican Congressman for the state of Illinois, was joined by Republican Congressmen Cass Ballinger (North Carolina), John T. Doolittle (California), Porter Goss (Florida), Melissa Hart (Pennsylvania), Charles Whitlow Norwood Jr. (Georgia), Adam Putnam (Florida), Ileana Ros-Lehtenin (Florida), E. Clay Shaw (Florida), Democratic Congressman Ed Pastor (Arizona) and President Bush’s Special Aide for Legislative Affairs David W. Hobbs. The delegation was also scheduled to visit Brazil, Argentina and Chile.

At the Legislative Palace Wednesday, Chamber President Chapper hosted a luncheon for the delegation. Former Chamber Presidents Guillermo Alvarez, Washington Abdala, Jaime Trobo and Carlos Baraibar participated along with 2004 President Jose Amorin Batlle. The delegations discussed issues of mutual interest and ways the two legislative bodies could work together.

Chamber President Chapper presented Speaker Hastert with a draft cooperation agreement that would memorialize a closer working relationship. The Speaker responded positively to Chamber President Chapper’s proposal, noting that the House has agreements of this nature with other Parliaments. Following the meeting, the two leaders, along with Rep. Porter Goss (R-FL) met with the Uruguayan press.

Also, the delegation met with the President Batlle at Achorena, his ranch outside of Colonia, for nearly two hours Wednesday (Jan. 7). The president provided a brief tour of the presidential ranch and discussed a wide range of political and economic topics with Ambassador Silverstein, Speaker Hastert and members of his delegation. The president gave his impressions on the regional political situation and underscored the many positive developments in Uruguay's economic situation. Batlle also warmly praised President Bush and the Ambassador for coming to Uruguay's rescue during the height of the economic crisis in August 2002.

During their visit, Hastert and the rest of the delegation also toured historical and commercial areas of Colonia.

Biography of Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert
Biographies of other Congressmen, Special Aide accompanying Hastert
Full text of Hastert/Chapper press conference

Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein and his wife Audrey Silverstein welcome Speaker of the House of Representatives J. Dennis Hastert to Montevideo. Ambassador Silverstein, Speaker Hastert lead the delegation.
Delegation serenaded by bagpipe band at the airport. Ambassador Silverstein, Speaker Hastert pose with bagpipe band.
Congressional delegation at Plaza Independencia, first leg of tour of Montevideo's Old City.

Speaker Hastert and his wife view Uruguayan crafts at the Mercado de los Artesanos.


Rep. John Doolittle speaks with vendor in antiques market at Plaza Matriz during city tour. Members of the delegation also took a walk through the plaza. President of the House of Representatives of Uruguay Jorge Chapper greets US Speaker Hastert
Speaker Hastert, Chamber President Chapper view guard formation in front of Legislative Palace. Speaker Hastert greets members of the Uruguayan Legislature.
Chamber President Chapper greets Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinin, while Rep. Melissa Hart (right) and others members of delegation wait in the receiving line.

Speaker Haster, Chamber President Chapper (center) with former and future legislative presidents at the Legislative Palace.


Congressional delegations from U.S. and Uruguay in Legislative Palace. Speaker Hastert views draft of agreement of friendship and cooperation presented by Chamber President Chapper
Speaker Hastert, Chamber President Chapper speak to Uruguayan media Delegation at luncheon in Legislative Palace, hosted by Chamber President Chapper.
Colonia MayorJuan Carlos Moreira greets delegation on second leg of their tour of Uruguay. Ambassador and Mrs. Silverstein arrive with delegation. From left: Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr., Speaker Hastert, President Batlle and Rep. Adam Putnam.
From left: Ambassador Martin J. and Audrey Silverstein, Speaker Hastert, First Lady of Uruguay Mercedes Menafra de Batlle, President of Uruguay Jorge Batlle at Anchorena.
President Batlle leads US delegation on a tour of Anchorena
Speaker Hastert and Rep. Melissa Hart with member of staff in Colonia. Ambassador Silverstein tours Colonia with delegation members.
Speaker Hastert and Rep. Cass Ballenger visit a shop in Colonia. Rep. Shaw (center) and his wife (left) ask about ceramics in shop in Colonia with tour guide (right).

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