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Mujica, resignation without abandonment. Politics with a future, life with a new beginning



São Paulo – Outside the Senate, but not in politics, José Mujica presented his resignation letter on Tuesday (20) (read below) and closed an era in Uruguay, 10 ½ years after taking office as president for the first time. First Tupamaro elected deputy in 1994, after a long period as an imprisoned guerrilla (a story told in the film A 12 Year Old Night, of 2018), made his political career with conciliatory speech. Both in 1985, when he was released after 13 years, as today, he repeated that he did not cultivate hatred.

“Pepe” Mujica, as he came to be called, also became known for his informality. He dispenses with official apparatus, likes to ride his blue Beetle – he even received a millionaire offer for the vehicle – and cultivates country simplicity, living in a rural area in Montevideo. In 2018, when he also resigned from the Senate (later he would be re-elected), he declared that he missed Manuela, his little dog, who had died, at the age of 22, very much. The animal had only three legs as a result of being run over.

RBA Playback / Editing
Mujica makes his last speech in the Senate, addressing young people, and is applauded by fellow parliamentarians

Mujica: The only losers are those who bow their heads

Without abandoning politics

Now, at the age of 85, completed in May, the pandemic made Mujica decide to resign from a position that, as he explained, requires a lot of contact with the population. In addition to age, which already puts him at risk, he has an autoimmune disease (Strauss Syndrome).

Thus, as he wrote, Mujica’s resignation occurs because it is not advisable to continue in these conditions if the miracle of living is valued. “This does not mean abandoning politics, but abandoning the front line because it understands that a good leader is one who leaves people who overcome him with advantage,” he said..

Speaking quickly in the Senate, he addressed young people. According to him, “triumphing in life is not winning, it is getting up every time you fall”. In an interview published in the book A black sheep in power, from journalists Andrés Danza and Ernesto Tulbovitz, on the eve of being elected president, said: “Life is yet to come, it is not the past, which does not mean that the past does not exist. The past exists, but the determinant is the future ”. On the morning of November 30, 2010, already elected, he commented to his partner, Lucía: “What a mess we are in, old woman!”

Controversies and social policies

His government was marked by social policies, combating poverty and measures that caused controversy inside and outside Uruguay. In 2012, for example, the decriminalization of abortion was passed, in a tight vote. The following year came the law of equal marriage. Finally, the regulation of marijuana use – which, by the way, Mujica never tried.

In June 2018, Mujica went to visit former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was arrested at the Federal Police in Curitiba. “In reality, Lula’s head can never be arrested. They can trap your body, but never your heart, ”he told militants who were watching nearby.

Football, art and VAR

The former president and now a former senator also showed vision of the game when talking about football in an interview for The State of S. Paulo. He praised the feat of being able to form a selection in a country (Uruguay) of only 3 million inhabitants. “It is a neighborhood in São Paulo. A neighborhood ”, he stressed. He said that football was a “wonderful” sport, because it was often unpredictable, thus becoming something close to art.

The reporter wanted to know Luis Suárez, the impetuous Uruguayan striker who bit the Italian defender Chiellini at the 2014 World Cup. Mujica criticized the gesture, but said he also found a later punishment wrong, based on TV images. “In that case, they would have to discount the absences that happen and do not charge themselves (…) I believe that what the judge does not score, is over. Or we swapped the judges for mechanisms that judge from the outside, for the image ”, commented, in pre-VAR times, the“ electronic referee ”who is unable to end sports controversies.

In the end, he returned to Suárez: “To Luisito, we want him as a brilliant player. And as a genius player, sometimes … ”, says Mujica, laughing a lot and covering his face with one hand, to conclude:“ It looks like a neighborhood kid ”.

In addition to Mujica, another resignation

It was a day of farewells in the Uruguayan parliament. President for two terms, Julio María Sanguinetti, 84, also resigned. He recalled that the gesture had been planned since 2019.

Read the letter of resignation:

Señora Presidente de la

House of Senators

Beatriz Argimón


From my major consideration:

The function of Senator impone between other things a strong and a permanent direct relationship with social actors and collectives. I suppose to receive citizens and visit them sometimes in their places of work to receive their problems and their experiences.

For an old man who also suffers from an immunological disease, these times of pandemic will last too long in the recommended period if the miracle of living is valued.

This situation obliterates me with much regret for my honored political vocation to ask that I manage my resignation from the bank that gave me citizenship.

This does not mean the abandonment of the political bell, the abandonment of the first row because it understands that a good leader is the one who gives people who overcome it with advantage.

I thank you with hondos recuerdos and much nostalgia, it has caused me the pandemic.

Salute Usted attentively,

José Mujica

Edition: Paulo Donizetti de Souza

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more unemployment and more informality




São Paulo – Government, businessmen and some parliamentarians were in tune with the defense of the bill that, if approved, would lead to the creation of Law 13,467 in 2017. The so-called labor reform, after all, would lead to the creation of millions of jobs. This would happen to the extent that it would end the rigidity of the legislation, which they treated as being “plastered”, facilitating hiring and giving the much-needed “modernization” to the Brazilian labor market.

Because the law completed three years on November 11 “and nobody celebrated, not even timidly”, recalls analyst Marcos Verlaine, from the Inter-Union Department of Parliamentary Advisory (Diap). “Among the expectations generated by the authors, the government of that time, the businessmen, who sponsored, defended and acted strongly in Congress to approve it, the media and reality, remained the harsh reality”, he says, in an article. He defines the measure passed by Congress as a “capital Trojan horse” to implode labor rights.

Collective bargaining?

The insistent defense of the “negotiated over the legislature”, a recurring expression at the time, was not to privilege negotiation, notes the analyst. “It was to remove rights, since the negotiations – both CCT (ccollective labor agreements) and ACT (collective labor agreements) – they never prevented, on the contrary, that the conventions surpass the CLT, nor that the agreements surpass the conventions. ”

The “millions” of jobs did not come, even before the pandemic. The growth in occupation was basically due to informal work. In 2016, the year before the “reform”, the country had 10.1 million unpaid employees in the private sector and 22.4 million self-employed workers. Last year, they were 11.6 million and 24.2 million, respectively (check table). The data are from the National Household Sample Survey (Pnad) Continua, from IBGE.

Modernization or precariousness?

Employment with a wallet fell. And the Gini index at work, which measures inequality, which until 2015 fell, rose again the following year and has not stopped.

The “reform” introduced hiring modalities, such as intermittent work. They were also presented as items of the necessary “modernization”, but union members and researchers identify them as additional signs of precariousness in the market. Although still small, the participation of the intermittent modality has been growing.

This week, the Federal Supreme Court (STF) began to judge direct actions of unconstitutionality against intermittent work. In his vote, the rapporteur, Minister Edson Fachin, considered the item unconstitutional and causing damage to workers’ health. But his colleagues Kassio Nunes Marques and Alexandre Moraes were in favor of the sport. The trial was interrupted by a request for view from Minister Rosa Weber.

If it is impossible to revoke the law in its entirety, Verlaine suggests specific changes, citing intermittent hiring. “It is necessary to negotiate with all political and social actors in order to bring about changes in this scorched earth scenario” he argues.

read more: ‘Labor Reform’: Stories of a False Promise and Changes in ‘Endless Destruction’

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