Unification News for June 1999

True Mother's Speech in Uruguay

by Steven Boyd—Montevideo, Uruguay

Upon her arrival in Montevideo, True Mother was received in the government VIP lounge by a welcoming committee of VIPs headed by the Minister of Tourism and the Vice Minister of Education and Culture. After a brief conversation with the welcoming committee, True Mother traveled to the Victoria Plaza Hotel, which is property of the Unification Group.

Public and private support for Mother's visit to Uruguay was evident through the media coverage both prior to and after her speech. Letters of welcome and congratulations were sent to True Mother from 41 Congressmen, 11 Senators, one former President, a cabinet minister, two governors, 3 presidents of government agencies, 8 directors of government agencies and two state police chiefs.

In the evening over 1,000 people gathered in the Grand Ballroom of the Victoria Plaza Hotel to hear Mother's speech. Among those in attendance were one Cabinet Minister, two Senators, 8 Congressmen, two Governors, two Generals from the Armed Forces.

The evening began with welcoming remarks from the Master of Ceremonies. His words were followed by an invocation from the former Secretary General of the Catholic Bishops Conference, Dr. Gregorio Rivero.

Welcoming remarks were given by the Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Yamandú Fau in representation of the Uruguayan government. His works acclaimed True Mother as an outstanding example of one who preaches and lives the family values that are needed so much by our societies today. He explained that the family transcends all barriers, and is the true basis of the nation, as the 40th Article of the Uruguayan constitution affirms. To emphasize the importance of the family, the Minister quoted the 80th Article of the Constitution which explains that any citizen who seeks to undermine the family unit could as a result even forfeit his citizenship. In this light, he warmly welcomed True Mother and her message in favor of true family values and world peace.

Mother's speech was favorably received by all those in attendance who read her speech while hearing simultaneous translation from English to Spanish over their headsets. Several times in the second half of her speech the audience warmly applauded those points which referred to importance of family unity.

At the conclusion of her speech, True Mother received a bouquet of flowers from the Mr. Enrique Alvarez (a member of the committee of 33 leaders that head the Federation to Save the New Nation), and his wife Mrs. Maria Albini de Alvarez (President of the WFWP in Uruguay), representing the couples most recently Blessed in Uruguay by True Parents. Their gift was followed by the presentation of a plaque offered by Mr. Oscar Magurno in the name of the Honorary Commission for the Fight against Cancer. The gift was an expression of its gratitude for a donation of U$S 200,000 given by True Parents for the purchase of a mobile unit for the detection of breast cancer in Uruguayan women. Finally, a plaque was presented by the Vice Minister of Education and Culture, Prof. Antonio Guerra and Congressman Leon Morelli on behalf of the National Welcoming Committee, made up of distinguished leaders in the public and private sector.

Just when the audience thought that the program had come to a conclusion, they were surprised and delighted by an unexpected appearance on stage by True Father. During the previous 58 speeches that True Mother had delivered on her tour, our True Parents had always been separated physically, communicating with each other over the telephone and through the Internet. Uruguay proved, however, to be the exception as our True Parents met each other here. On stage, Father first shook Mother's hand and then, to the delight of the audience, embraced her. Afterwards, he shared a few words of greeting to the audience, and then, with hands held high, True Parents waved to the guests as they received a standing ovation. Everyone was left touched by the spirit of unity of love of True Parents, and by their deep feeling for people and nation of Uruguay.

The victory celebration was then held in True Parents suite in the Victoria Plaza, with the attendance of many of the first time guests who took part in the main speech in the Ballroom.

Media coverage in newspapers, radio and especially television was particularly favorable. The three major television stations in Montevideo all showed extensive footage of the event, all highlighting the importance of the ideas expressed in Mother's speech.

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