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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:20 AM

After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President

After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President
By SIMON ROMERO
Published: January 4, 2013

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay — Some world leaders live in palaces. Some enjoy perks like having a discreet butler, a fleet of yachts or a wine cellar with vintage Champagnes. Then there is José Mujica, the former guerrilla who is Uruguay’s president. He lives in a run-down house on Montevideo’s outskirts with no servants at all. His security detail: two plainclothes officers parked on a dirt road.

In a deliberate statement to this cattle-exporting nation of 3.3 million people, Mr. Mujica, 77, shunned the opulent Suárez y Reyes presidential mansion, with its staff of 42, remaining instead in the home where he and his wife have lived for years, on a plot of land where they grow chrysanthemums for sale in local markets.

Visitors reach Mr. Mujica’s austere dwelling after driving down O’Higgins Road, past groves of lemon trees. His net worth upon taking office in 2010 amounted to about $1,800 — the value of the 1987 Volkswagen Beetle parked in his garage. He never wears a tie and donates about 90 percent of his salary, largely to a program for expanding housing for the poor.

His current brand of low-key radicalism — a marked shift from his days wielding weapons in an effort to overthrow the government — exemplifies Uruguay’s emergence as arguably Latin America’s most socially liberal country.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/05/world/americas/after-years-in-solitary-an-austere-life-as-uruguays-president.html?_r=0

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Reply After Years in Solitary, an Austere Life as Uruguay’s President (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
MADem Jan 2013 #1
joshcryer Jan 2013 #2
MADem Jan 2013 #3
polly7 Jan 2013 #4
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #5
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #6
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #8
naaman fletcher Jan 2013 #7
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 #9
sabrina 1 Jan 2013 #10

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:09 AM

1. He looks like Grampa, he has a three legged dog, and he wants to legalize weed.

Video with this brief story from NOV...shows his house:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-20334136

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Response to MADem (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:39 AM

2. And he'd allow abortion.

Dudes a fucking saint.

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Response to joshcryer (Reply #2)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:29 AM

3. He came the long way round to sainthood, though--robbing banks is not a typical path!

He's certainly a character, though...I think his life story would make an incredible film. I can imagine that, with the right screenplay, there'd be a stampede of actors looking to play that role!

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 02:38 PM

4. He sounds like quite a character.

I'm not seeing many negatives here:

Under Mr. Mujica, who took office in 2010, Uruguay has drawn attention for seeking to legalize marijuana and same-sex marriage, while also enacting one of the region’s most sweeping abortion rights laws and sharply boosting the use of renewable energy sources like wind and biomass.


INDEED, if there is any country in South America where a president can drive a Beetle and get by without a large entourage of bodyguards, it might be Uruguay, which consistently ranks among the region’s least corrupt and least unequal nations. While crime is emerging as more of a concern, Uruguay remains a contender for the region’s safest country.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:12 PM

5. Beware, beware, beware of Mr. Slimin' Romero!

I don't have time right now to analyze this jerk's fawning over Jose Mujica. But it sends chills down my spine. One initial thought: why does he expose Mujica's lack of security (even to mentioning that there are only 2 guards!)? Jeez.

True, I live in the most insanely violent country on earth--where even five year olds are not safe from being mowed down, en masse, with automatic weapons, and where the government itself is drone-bombing people without benefit of trial all over the world, with a ho-hum and a shrug of the shoulders over "collateral damage."

So I tend to notice things like SECURITY. First paragraph, in the most prominent newspaper on earth: What road to go down, what trees to look for, what kind of structure to look for, no servants, two guards.

Does that not strike you as...abominably irresponsible?

More later. I am very suspicious--and have very good reason to be--of this writer and this arrogant, lying, warmongering litterbox liner, the New York Slimes.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:08 PM

6. It's amazing seeing Slimin' seeming to not hate him, absolutely.

I think he may have heard the bizarre bitching done during some of those off-seasons when the right-wing trash haven't been fed anything to rage against concerning any of the leftist Latin American leaders, namely Hugo Chavez: that he has dared, for some reason, to live in the Presidential Palace, like all the other South American Presidents have done, do, and will be doing forever, with Mujica as an exception.

For some reason it really chaps the asses of right-wingers, during the times they are out of steam on their other anti-Chavez topics, that Chavez, a multi-racial man, dares to live in the designated residence of an elected Venezuelan President.

Maybe he could have chosen to live in the tool shed, or the garage, and that would have slammed their pieholes shut on this one "topic".

The matter of security you mentioned will be fantastically imperiled by this kind of effusive "truth sharing". No doubt we could expect to see a chartered small plane full of the DU right-wing professional left-hate trolls, bristling with their little tools of death headed south as a group to "bust a move" against this former left-wing rebel.

I can't imagine the man would want to thank Slimin' for this article, nor his amazing rebel wife, Lucia. He didn't do them any favors, and he proves he can't be trusted each time he opens his cyber mouth.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:10 PM

8. It's pretty straight-forward, really

 

Uruguay is turning into the refuge for right-wing Argentinians. Those of us who know the lay of the land have been aware of that for a while.

Edited to add: That's where all the dollars fleeing Argentina are going.

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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:08 PM

7. You live in Venezuela?

 

True, I live in the most insanely violent country on earth

I thought you were American?

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Response to naaman fletcher (Reply #7)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 01:17 AM

9. Some posts sound a lot like crank calls, or even troll calls. n/t



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Response to Peace Patriot (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 11, 2013, 03:06 AM

10. You're right, I hadn't thought of that, but to see Romero of all people, praising someone

on the Left in Latin America, should raise people's suspicions. Tool that he is it's hard to believe the man doesn't have ulterior motives.

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