For democracy to function properly, Mujica argues, elected leaders should be taken down a notch.“We have done everything possible to make the presidency less venerated,” Mr. He acknowledges that his lifestyle choices might seem unusual, but that it has been a conscious choice to forgo the trappings of power and wealth. Mujica said, “It is not the man who has too little, but the man who craves more, who is poor.” Polls show that his approval ratings have been declining over his support of marijuana legalization, but “I don’t give a damn,” insisted Mr. “If I worried about pollsters, I wouldn’t be president,” he said.Elected in 2009, Mujica spent the 1960s and 1970s as part of the Uruguayan guerrilla Tupamaros, a leftist armed group inspired by the Cuban revolution.Shot six times, he went on spend 14 years in prison, including more than a decade in horrific solitary confinement, often in a hole in the ground.I can distinctly remember attending the Montevideo derby between Nacional and Penarol where a fight broke out in a bar after a football fan called the black waiter "negro".It was not the colour of his hair that was being referred to.During that time, he would go more than a year at a time without bathing.He was freed in 1985 when Uruguay returned to democracy.
The statement by Luis Suarez on Tuesday that, "in my country negro is a word we use commonly, a word which doesn't somehow show any lack of respect and is even less a form of abuse," certainly raised a wry smile and brought back some vivid and uncomfortable memories of my time watching football in South America.
And as the debate continues on what Suarez actually meant, there is one thing that we can all agree on: Patrice Evra is black.
In my opinion, no matter where you live in the world, chances are your President or leader is not nearly as cool or compassionate as Uruguay’s.
He donates about 90 % of his salary, largely to a program for expanding housing for the poor, leaving him with roughly 0 a month of his salary in line with the average Uruguayan’s income).
He said he and his wife, Senator Lucía Topolansky, a former guerrilla who was also imprisoned, do not need much to live on.