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The best president in the world retires.

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The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 09:07:25

As a Uruguayan citizen, I have been very proud of my president these past five years. He doesn't smoke weed, but made pot legal. He also legalized abortions and gave gays the rights to get married and adopt children. He constantly reduced poverty and inequality during his government.

He donated 90% of his salary throughout his term. He is a poor farmer who lives in a rundown farm owned by his wife, with his wife and a three legged dog. His only material possession is an old beat up VW Beetle.

A former urban guerrilla leader who was detained and tortured for thirteen years, when he came to power he didn't seek revenge over his torturers because he has forgiven them.

After accepting once out of courtesy, he declined several invitations to the White House because he considered visiting the White House a waste of time. This guy is an admirable human being.

Every country in the world should have a President like him. Long live President Mujica! He was the best Uruguayan President ever, and, IMHO, the best president in the whole wide world these past five years. He is the only politician in the world I would like to meet.

http://rt.com/news/236581-uruguay-presi ... jica-quit/
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby radon1 » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 09:30:48

Long live President Mujica!

(Mujic means "strongman" in Russian :) )
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby GHung » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 09:45:25

Uruguayan, Brazilian presidents attend opening ceremony of Wind Farm
http://www.evwind.es/2015/03/01/uruguay ... farm/50723

Image

Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica (R) and his Brazilian counterpart Dilma Rousseff attend the opening ceremony of the Wind Farm, in Colonia department, 165 km from Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, on Feb. 28, 2015.

The Wind Farm is a joint venture between the National Administrations of Power Plants and Electrical Transmissions of Uruguay and the Brazilian Electrobras, with an investment of 100 million U.S. dollars to supply the electrical grids of both countries.

Known for his push to legalize cannabis, spartan lifestyle and devotion to his three-legged dog, Uruguay’s outspoken President Jose “Pepe” Mujica will step down Sunday more popular than ever.

But after five years steering this South American nation of 3.3 million people, the 79-year-old former guerrilla leaves something of a mixed legacy for his successor, Tabare Vazquez, to build on.

“There’s still so much to do and I hope that the next government will be better than mine and will have greater success,” Mujica said in an interview with a local newspaper Thursday.

“I became president filled with idealism, but then reality hit.”

The colorful rabble-rouser attracted international attention as much for his lifestyle as he did his policies.

Eschewing the trappings of power, Mujica insisted on living on his modest farm and driving around in an aging Volkswagen Beetle.

He was more likely to be seen in a beret with scruffy clothes, having just gotten down from his tractor, than wearing a suit. He also gave most of his salary to charity.

Mujica would sometimes unexpectedly speak with journalists about the rate of inflation or diplomatic relations. Or he’d tell them what he was preparing to feed his three-legged dog Manuela.

The canine companion lost one foot when Mujica accidentally rolled over it with his tractor. She now goes everywhere with the president.

Under Mujica, Uruguay became the first country in the world to fully legalize marijuana all the way from the cannabis field to the joint, setting up a regulated market for cultivation, sales and use.

The leader was also known for his candid — and sometimes less-than-diplomatic — remarks.

A live microphone once caught him saying: “This old hag is worse than the one-eyed guy.” It was a reference to Argentine President Cristina Kirchner and her late husband and former president Nestor Kirchner, who had a lazy eye.

Nevertheless, Mujica often spoke of the need for improved regional ties — especially important for Uruguay, which is sandwiched between the giants Argentina and Brazil.

“I succeeded in putting Uruguay on the world map,” Mujica said.

On Saturday, his last day as president, Mujica reiterated his call for regional cooperation as he opened a bi-national wind farm with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

“We are very far from being integrated, but it’s the first time that the governments of Latin America… are meeting, talking and agreeing,” he said.

Brazil and Uruguay have embarked on an ambitious plan to improve energy cooperation, including the construction of a new stretch of power lines.

Critics point to Mujica’s shortcomings, including his failure to implement education reform, even as the country’s academic achievements fell.

Vazquez, a leftist, was previously president from 2005-2010 but had to step down due to rules that bar presidents from serving consecutive terms.

Uruguay’s cannabis laws face an uncertain future when Vazquez, a buttoned-down politician with a traditional style, takes over from Mujica.

Sunday’s handover will be attended by regional leaders, though Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro canceled his trip due to the “political situation” in his crisis-hit country.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who called Vazquez on Saturday to congratulate him, sent Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Krysta Harden and Washington’s deputy U.N. envoy Michele Sison in his place to attend the inauguration.

http://www.evwind.com/2015/02/28/eolica ... rtilleros/
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby farmlad » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 11:59:33

Juanp Since you have real connections in Uruguay, I've often wondered what your impression was of Mujica. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby TemplarMyst » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 12:26:19

Thanks JuanP. Don't know much about the guy. Will follow up on what yourself ghung posted to get a bit better informed.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby Quinny » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 12:52:08

I've been an admirer for sometime, we on the left need more leaders who stay true to their roots.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/18/-sp-is-this-worlds-most-radical-president-uruguay-jose-mujica
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 13:06:25

Quinny wrote:I've been an admirer for sometime, we on the left need more leaders who stay true to their roots.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/18/-sp-is-this-worlds-most-radical-president-uruguay-jose-mujica
This brings to mind a series of little bright shining moments. Don't recollect them, but I seem to remember a state in southern India (Kerola perhaps?), the Mondragon Cooperative in Spain, and one in Brazil. Radical points of light. Little LEDS in a world of polluting incandescents :) .
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby sparky » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 16:37:56

.
A truly good man , especially after all he had to suffer , coming out not bitter and revengeful

it is men like this who justifies their cause ,
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby Plantagenet » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 19:12:20

President Majica seems to be a wonderful, caring man.

Politically, He's repudiated the political assassinations and the murders and and robberies that his Tupamaro movement carried out during his youth.

He's also distanced himself from his past admiration for the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, and rejects the current failed socialist policies of Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela.

Majica has even spoken out in favor of tradition and catholicism. Speaking about Latin America he said: "We have another identity, Christian and Catholic tradition."

This is a man who's travelled a long way from his youth as a leftist urban guerrilla, and has learned in the fullness of time to be a caring and thoughtful human being. I especially find his acceptance of simplicity and his avoidance of the trappings of wealth, even after he was elected president, to be admirable.

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President Majica and his iconic blue $1800 VW bug
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby pstarr » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 19:57:42

This is how we do Presidential Meet and Greets:

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Not quite as cozy as the VW Bug. We squish the Bug :razz:
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 21:18:13

Thanks Ghung, Plant and everyone else for all the great comments, links, and articles. I was out all day today. I am very happy with the responses I received. President Mujica is a real one of a kind man. I've grown to like him a lot through the years.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby JuanP » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 22:26:44

A BBC News article on Mujica provided by Northwest Resident.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31679475
"Jose Mujica is often referred to as the president most other countries would rather have, as Wyre Davies reports
Related Stories

The world's poorest president
Uruguay profile
Whatever your own particular "shade" of politics, it's impossible not to be impressed or beguiled by Jose "Pepe" Mujica.

There are idealistic, hard-working and honest politicians the world over - although cynics might argue they're a small minority - but none of them surely comes anywhere close to the outgoing Uruguayan president when it comes to living by one's principles."

Thanks, NWR!
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby SeaGypsy » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 22:44:00

Imagine a world run by people like this guy. Not pretentious self important jerk lawyers & economists, gangsters & frauds, but truly innate leaders....
As MLK said; "I have a dream"
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby dissident » Sun 01 Mar 2015, 23:19:39

Sounds like the people of Uruguay had run of good luck. What is the political trend, will his successor be reasonable or will things go down hill?
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby americandream » Mon 02 Mar 2015, 00:32:35

Plantagenet wrote:President Majica seems to be a wonderful, caring man.

Politically, He's repudiated the political assassinations and the murders and and robberies that his Tupamaro movement carried out during his youth.

He's also distanced himself from his past admiration for the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, and rejects the current failed socialist policies of Chavez and Maduro in Venezuela.

Majica has even spoken out in favor of tradition and catholicism. Speaking about Latin America he said: "We have another identity, Christian and Catholic tradition."

This is a man who's travelled a long way from his youth as a leftist urban guerrilla, and has learned in the fullness of time to be a caring and thoughtful human being. I especially find his acceptance of simplicity and his avoidance of the trappings of wealth, even after he was elected president, to be admirable.

Image
President Majica and his iconic blue $1800 VW bug


In other words, although he is a simple fellow, he is not averse to others residing in Mcmansions as that is essentially what a rejection of collective simplicity and an acquiescence to capitalist sensibilities MUST unfold.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby sparky » Mon 02 Mar 2015, 01:12:12

.
From the Guardian article , but well worth repeating
" “Those who are sexually ambivalent have a real problem if they are poor. If they are rich they are tolerated.
That sounds crude, but it’s the truth as I see it,” he said.
“And the women most discriminated against are those in poverty. Machismo hits hardest at the lowest levels.
Poor girls are not well-treated by our society. There are women who end up abandoned with lots of children.
for me that is one of the most important battles for fairness.”
During the presidential campaign he was caught moaning about “intellectual women who think they are downtrodden”,
or who talk about their “compañera” cleaning lady, “when she is really the servant”.
Almost all of the 90% of his salary that Mujica gives away goes to single mothers.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby Sixstrings » Mon 02 Mar 2015, 02:07:03

JuanP wrote:A former urban guerrilla leader who was detained and tortured for thirteen years, when he came to power he didn't seek revenge over his torturers because he has forgiven them.


21:00 minute mark, he talks about his time in prison:

Vice Podcast Special with José Pepe Mujica Uruguay's president
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3OSwzrsTms


Quite moving, and insightful.

Some news about the transition:

Image

Elegant Tabare Vazquez replaces folksy José Mujica, sworn in as Uruguay's president

One leftist leader replaced another in Uruguay on Sunday, a change seemingly marked more by style than differences in policy as the elegant Tabare Vazquez took over from the famously casual Jose Mujica, who formally left office in rubber-soled brown shoes.

...

The new president urged Uruguayans to work together to improve public education, health and housing, and he decried the violence haunting the world beyond.

"Seldom in history has humanity been so shaken, so beaten, so overwhelmed as in these times. Violence, fear, terror, intolerance stalk different regions of our planet," he said in his inaugural address.

...

Mujica, a 79-year-old flower grower and former guerrilla, held onto that popularity, leaving office with a growing economy, rising salaries and historically low unemployment.

Both represent the Broad Front coalition of parties that range from center-left Christian Democrats to Communists.

Informal to the end, the folksy Mujica wore casual brown shoes with his black suit and, as always, shunned a tie, as he slipped the presidential sash over the shoulder of a tie-wearing Vazquez.
http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/03/01/elegant-tabare-vazquez-replaces-folksy-jose-mujica-sworn-in-as-uruguay/


Had a look at his wiki. Really nothing bad on it. Can't find any criticism -- that sure can't be said of many people.

This seems to be something critical:

Image

(anyhow not taking a swipe at him that just the only critical thing I could find; I like him, just from watching that interview. He seems quite wise, like a Mandela. Seems to be a pragmatist, and evolved leftist, more centrist and practical. If his government reduced income disparity and maintained 5.9% growth, then that's a success.)
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 02 Mar 2015, 14:31:19

Dissident, both the outgoing and incoming presidents are center leftists from the same political coalition. The incoming President is a multimillionaire 1%er MD, ownner of a very successful private medical clinic. He is a more normal person than Mujica. Mujica's only material possesion is his beat up VW Beetle.

I don't expect any big changes in the country's policies, it will be mostly a style change. Uruguay's worst problems right now are the rampant crime in the capital and the deteriorating public education system , and dealing with these will be Vazquez hardest challenge.

The incoming president, Vazquez, was the president in power before Mujica, but couldn't run in the previous election because Uruguay's constitution allows presidents to serve a maximum of two terms, but they can't be consecutive, so Vazquez had to step down for one term. If Vazquez could have run in those elections, he would have won with a clear majority.

Uruguay was always a center right country until these last decade. The incoming president, Vazquez was the first ever leftist president in Uruguayan history when he first came to power in 2005. The left seems to be entrenched in power now and they enjoy the support of most Uruguayans.
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Re: The best president in the world retires.

Unread postby JuanP » Mon 02 Mar 2015, 20:48:04

BBC article on the New president's inauguration.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-31690385
Uruguay leaders display their love for vintage cars!
An October 2014 BBC article on Mujica.
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-29741532
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