In this age of rampant political corruption and greed, José Mujica, the president of Uruguay, cuts an unusual figure on the international stage. As a left-wing guerilla during the Uruguayan dictatorship of the 1970s, Mujica endured 15 long years in prison, eleven of which were spent in solitary confinement.
In more recent times Mujica has gained notoriety as the “poorest president in the world”, after donating roughly 90 percent of his presidential income to charities, political parties and NGOS. However, as he tells Al Jazeera in the in-depth interview featured below, he does not consider himself poor:
My definition of poor are those who need too much. Because those who need too much are never satisfied. I am frugal but I’m not poor. I’m frugal with a light suitcase: I live with little — just what’s necessary — and I’m not too tied down by material things. Why? So I can have more free time. To do what? To do what I like.
Freedom is about having time to live.
On that note, here’s the interview in full:
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