Meet Ex President José Mujica,World’s Poorest President Who Lives In A Farm House And Gives Away Most Of His Pay
Jose Alberto ‘Pepe’ Mujica Cordano, is a former Uruguayan president that was born on 21st May,1935. Though he is poor but he is a highly respected man in Uruguay. President Mujica has put away the luxurious house that the Uruguayan state provides for its leaders and decided to stay at his wife’s farmhouse, off a dirt road outside the capital, Montevideo.
What made Mujica different, special and unique when compared to the other presidents that have served Uruguay was his act of generosity and benevolence toward the citizen of the country. He chose to live in a simple house located in a rural area outside Montevideo despite having access to the presidential mansion. He has been described as “the world’s humblest head of state” because he donates about 90% of his monthly salary, equivalent to $12,000 (£7,500) to charity, and that has led him to be labelled the poorest president in the world.
In 2010, his annual personal wealth declaration – mandatory for officials in Uruguay – was $1,800 (£1,100), the value of his 1987 Volkswagen Beetle. When he added half of his wife’s assets – land, tractors and a house – reaching $215,000 (£135,000). That’s still only about two-thirds of Vice-President Danilo Astori’s declared wealth, and a third of the figure declared by Mujica’s predecessor as president, Tabare Vasquez.
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. He was shot six times and spent 14 years in jail. Most of his detention was spent in harsh conditions and isolation, until he was freed in 1985 when Uruguay returned to democracy. Those years in jail, Mujica says, helped shape his outlook on life.
“I’m called the poorest President, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more,” he says. “This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself,” he says. “I may appear to be an eccentric old man… But this is a free choice I can live well with what I have. I’ve lived like this most of my life,” he says, sitting on an old chair in his garden, using a cushion favoured by Manuela the dog.