Outgoing President Jose Mujica kicks off his tour of Latin America in Caracas, meeting with President Maduro.

 

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  • Presidents Nicolas Maduro and Jose Mujica will meet Wednesday in Venezuela (Photo: AVN)

    Presidents Nicolas Maduro and Jose Mujica will meet Wednesday in Venezuela (Photo: AVN)

Published 3 December 2014

Outgoing President Jose Mujica kicks off his tour of Latin America in Caracas, meeting with President Maduro.

 

Venezuela is the first stop on Uruguayan President Jose Mujica’s eight-day tour of Latin America, aimed at securing the international relations he has forged with regional countries during his five years as leader.

Announcing Mujica’s arrival, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro commented on the recent victory of Mujica’s successor, fellow leftist Broad Front member, Tabare Vazquez. Both Vazquez, who was president of Uruguay from 2005-2010, and Mujica are “great friends” of Venezuela, he said. 

Maduro and Vazquez agreed in a telephone coversation following Vazquez’s victory Sunday to meet soon to discuss relations between the countries going forward. 

Mujica’s next stop will be in Ecuador, where he will participate in a Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) meeting, taking place Dec. 4 in the country’s second city of Guayaquil. 

The world-renowned Mujica, leaving office with 60 percent voter approval, will then travel to Mexico to participate in the 24th Ibero-American Summit. 

Despite his ongoing popularity, the 79-year-old Mujica is constitutionally prohibited from running for a second term as president. His party-mate Vazquez won Sunday’s presidential elections with 53.6 percent of the vote, beating right-wing Luis Lacalle. 

Vazquez, who had previously served as Uruguay’s chief executive from 2005 to 2010 is known for his accomplishments in reducing poverty, expanding the welfare system, and making strides in education and working conditions. 

Mujica is known for maintaining an austere life style, achieving the lowest level of income inequality in Latin America, and reducing the national debt, as well as for decriminalizing abortion and legalizing marijuana and same-sex marriages.

Despite some political differences with his fellow Coalition member, Mujica has promised to work for a smooth transition to Uruguay’s new administration, while Vazquez has pledged to retain Mujica’s cabinet.

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