Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

Uruguay President urges Turkey to face dark pages of its history

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 24, 2015

Uruguay President urges Turkey to face dark pages of its history

The World’s Most Humble President Just Opened His House to 100 Syrian Refugee Children

José Alberto “Pepe” Mujica Cordano (born 20 May 1935) is President of Uruguay since 2010. He has been described as “the world’s ‘humblest’ president”, due to his austere lifestyle and his donation of around 90 percent of his $12,000 (£7,500) monthly salary to charities that benefit poor people and small entrepreneurs.

A former urban guerrilla fighter with the Tupamaros, also known as the MLN-T (Movimiento de Liberación Nacional-Tupamaros or Tupamaros National Liberation Movement), a left-wing urban guerrilla group in Uruguay in the 1960s and ’70s, and a member of the Broad Front coalition of left-wing parties, Mujica was Minister of Livestock, Agriculture, and Fisheries from 2005 to 2008 and a Senator afterwards. As the candidate of the Broad Front, he won the 2009 presidential election and took office as President on 1 March 2010.

Since Mujica has been in power, politics in Uruguay have changed. Everybody knows that the president lives on a ramshackle farm, refuses to take his full salary, and a night out for him and his wife usually means going to the local pub.

And he still manages to surprise his people with unconventional and practical ideas. “Pepe” Mujica, as he is known at home, has made Uruguay the first country to cultivate and sell marijuana legally, so as to take the wind out of drug dealers’ sails.

Last year, he suggested that people receive computers and bicycles in exchange for their weapons, and unlike many leaders in Latin America he pledged to take in up to 100 Syrian refugee children. His pledge has drawn praise from the UN, but the opposition is skeptical.

One hundred children orphaned by the Syrian civil war could find a home in Uruguayan President José “Pepe” Mujica’s summer retreat, a mansion and riverfront estate surrounded by rolling pastures. That would be a welcome sight for any of the hundreds of thousands of refugees displaced by Syria’s political turmoil.

As he is ending his term as a president, Mujica pledged to cooperate in organizing the Armenian Genocide centenary commemorative events. At the farewell meeting with the country’s Armenian community he stated that he’s ready to take every possible effort and brave the displeasure of Ankara to contribute to the recognition of the crime against humanity.

“Solution of this painful issue might be prevented by state interests. However, the least Turkey can do today is face the dark pages of its history and accept the autrocities committed,” the outgoing leader stressed.

On he met with representatives of civil and religious organization from the Armenian community in South America, who are preparing to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

During the meeting President Mujika highlighted the contribution of Uruguayan citizens of Armenian descent and recalled that “Uruguay was the first to recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Referring to countries who refuse to recognize the crime, the President said: “recognition of the Armenian Genocide is one of the pending cases facing our poor humanity.”

“Solution of this painful issue might be prevented by state interests. However, the least Turkey can do today is face the dark pages of its history and accept the atrocities committed,” the outgoing leader stressed.

Mujica accepted an invitation by the Armenian community to join the Committee to Commemorate the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide as an honorable member, once he leaves office on March 1, 2015.

“We cannot change the past, but we have to learn from it and recognize the atrocities that men have perpetrated to avoid such crimes in the future,” Mujica said.

He stressed the importance of learning to live together, to tolerate and “understand that we cannot live if we fail to respect diversity in the world.”

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