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
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
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.
of Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert
of other Congressmen, Special Aide accompanying Hastert
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.
Speaker Hastert lead the delegation.
|Delegation serenaded by
bagpipe band at the airport.
||Ambassador Silverstein, Speaker Hastert
pose with bagpipe band.
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
||President of the House
of Representatives of Uruguay Jorge Chapper greets US
|Speaker Hastert, Chamber
President Chapper view guard formation in front of Legislative
||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.
from U.S. and Uruguay in Legislative Palace.
||Speaker Hastert views draft of agreement
of friendship and cooperation presented by Chamber President
|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.
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.
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