José Mujica – President of Uruguay, not Poor but Frugal.

A President of the people. All Peoples.

José Mujica

José Mujica

It’s rare for a leader, at any time or place to show true humility. Sure some may fake it while campaigning but once they become the incumbent then it’s time for the advantages of power, surrounded by the sycophants who desire the crumbs of advantage. Rarely does someone come along to show through example true humility.

The Poorest President.

José Mujica is referred to as the worlds poorest president, a label he quickly and emphatically refutes…

“Poor and the ones who describe me so.
My definition of poor are those who need too much because those who need too much are never satisfied. I am frugal not poor.
Frugal with a light suitcase. I live with little, just what’s necessary not too tied down with material things.
Why? So I can have more free time.
To do what? What I like. Freedom is having time to live.
Living frugally is a philosophy of life but I am not poor.”

With this attitude he has more than he needs, sharing his wife’s income as a senator and giving 90% of his own to charities like a housing project for unmarried mothers. Which he sees more as a duty rather than charity.

Wide ranging interview with Aljazeera.

No need to change just because he’s President.

Frugal is using all that's needed Jose steps from his  Presidential vehicle.

Frugal is using all that’s needed
José steps from his Presidential vehicle.

His plan to legalised marijuana has gained lots of attention but he says his desire is to remove the clandestine business of the drug trade by regulating a personal amount supplied from where medicines are sold and if a person requires more, then it’ll be treated as a medical problem. This is simply to deal with marijuana only as the major drug in Uruguay and is not intended as a method for any other harder drug issues.

Colombia and the ELN.

As a Guerrilla leader in the  1960’s and having been imprisoned for 14 years gives him a unique position to help reconcile the nearly fifty years of conflict in Colombia between the government and the National Liberation Army. As he’s stated…

“If they need a place to hold talks in Uruguay they will find  the table set . It’s the least we can do.”

The Atheist and The Pope

José Mujica has already legalised gay marriage and abortion but despite being an atheist, he has met with Pope Francis to support each other with good works in Latin America. He knows the historical heritage of the church in Latin America and knows the power Pope Francis carries in all the communities to modernise the church in South America even though Uruguay is the most secular of all countries

José Pepe Mujica,President of Uruguay UN Speech.

In an almost Gandhi-esk style, José as the President of a small South American nation shows world leaders a style of compassion many could learn from. I hope others learn from his example.

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