|Uruguay's José Mujica, a real leader.|
And then there's of Uruguay's Pres. Jose Mujica.
While Hugo Chavez and other populists boasted about 'revolution', but did little more than grabbing more power, Mujica has actually accomplished things. He's legalized abortion, created the hemisphere's most progressive marijuana policy and approved same-sex marriage. In contrast, Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega - an ex-guerrilla leader like Mujica - actually banned abortion in all cases in order to buy the support of the Catholic Church.
It all makes one ask whether the power-hungry populists of Ecuador, Venezuela and Nicaragua are really leftists at all - or only what they appear to be - power-hungy populists.
Mujica, in contrast, is a breath of fresh air. Agree with him or not, give him credit for accomplishing
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I can't leave out Bogotá's own Mayor Gustavo Petro, who it seems to me has accomplished little relative to what he might have, while generating so much controversy that he's getting himself kicked out of office. Petro obviously lacks Mujica's political acumen.
For a person like myself, who considers himself a leftist, the behavior of many 'leftist' leaders has been a great embarrasment.
So, Mujica, with his humility, sincerity and willingness to to take real actions, is a huge relief.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours