Monday, December 8, 2014
You Go Uruguay, I'll Go Mine.
Checking bbc news and aljazeera.com, I learned that six Guantanamo prisoners have resettled in Uruguay. There was no mention of the release on CNN, Fox or Drudge. I was beginning to believe that the story was going to be completely ignored by America news outlets, until I discovered articles on the transfer on the Washington Post and the Washington Times.
Prior to this story, my knowledge of Uruguay was pretty much, well, nothing. So, wishing to increase my knowledge of the country, I searched for information about the current president of Uruguay, José Mujica. For the most part, he seems like a man after Obama's heart. Mujica has called Guantanamo a "disgrace" and has used Guantanamo to bash George Bush. Being a typical politician, Mujica delayed bringing the prisoners into Uruguay until after the country's recent elections - an October opinion poll showed 58% of Uruguayans were opposed to bringing in the prisoners.
On the plus side, Mujica does not live in the Presidential palace, but on his wife's farm where the couple cultivate chrysanthemums. Called by some, the world's poorest president, Mujica donates about 90% of his monthly salary to charities which benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs. This leaves his take-home pay inline with the average Uruguayan income - $775 a month. I can't imagine any U.S. President, Democrat or Republican, doing the same.
On the negative side, Mujica supports abortion.
Not surprisingly, Mujica has stated on a left-wing Spanish television station, that he is an atheist.
As for the photo, due to Mujica’s efforts to legalize marijuana in Uruguay, the president has won the praise of Aerosmith's Steven Tyler.