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Jose Mujica: The Inspiring Story of the Poorest President in the World

Jose Mujica: The Inspiring Story of the Poorest President in the World

In most situations, when power comes, money follows and vice versa. This can be noticed by the fact that a good number of powerful people are wealthy.

While most people would look to increase their wealth after becoming the president of a country, the reverse is the case for ex-Uruguay President Jose Alberto Pepe Mujica.

Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica (L)

The 40th president of the South American country was known for his simple lifestyle and giving to the poor.

Jose Mujica gave so much away that he was regarded as the poorest president in the world.

Although he participated in crimes as a young man to fuel his goal, the former Uruguay leader changed after reaching influential positions.

Life of Jose Mujica

Jose Alberto Mujica was born in Montevideo, Uruguay on the 20th of May 1935.

Most of Mujica’s childhood was spent on the farm with his father Demetrio Mujica who was a farmer.

Unfortunately, Demetrio Mujica died when Jose was only five and his family was left to struggle in poverty.

As a kid, Jose believed that everyone should have at least enough and he demonstrated a zeal to help the poor in his twenties.

The former President however did it in the wrong way. He joined the MLN Tupamaros Movement, a group that was famous for robbing delivery trucks and sharing food and money to the poor.

Mujica’s life eventually caught up with him and he was arrested in 1972.

He was imprisoned in a special military facility where he spent the next 13 years- 2 of those years were spent in solitary confinement.

Rise in Politics

Shortly after his release from prison, Mujica developed a new plan to help the poor- by doing it from the top.

Together with some other members of the Tupamaros movement, a political party was formed- The Movement of Popular Participation (MPP).

Success didn’t come immediately however, as his first major political role didn’t come until later 1999 when he was elected senator.

Mujica’s charisma was a huge contributor to his success and it even helped the MPP to become the largest party within the Broad Front coalition.

The poorest president in the world

The influence of the party was retained and Jose got re-elected as a senator in 2004 and the party’s candidate Tabare Vazquez won the presidential election.

In 2009, Jose Mujica contested and won the presidential election, making him the 40th president of Uruguay.

Read also: 5 African Leaders that Have Spent Time in Jail

Simple Lifestyle as the Poorest President in the World

During his tenure as president, Mujica donated $10,800 out of his $12,000 monthly allowance to the poor and less privileged.

Instead of using the usual expensive cars assigned to the president, he bought a $1800 Volkswagen beetle.

He also rejected the president’s residential villa, choosing to live on a farm with his wife Lucia Topolansky.

Jose Mujica

After his tenure as a president, Mujica left Uruguay with a healthy economy and an overall better situation than even richer neighbouring countries.

We’ll end this article with a popular quote from Jose Mujica, the poorest president in the world.

“A poor person isn’t someone who has little but one who needs infinitely, more and more and more”.

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