Uruguay President Tells Obama U.S. needs to Learn Spanish, stop smoking

Share:

Uruguay's President Jose Mujica (L) delivers remarks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) welcomes him before their meeting in the Oval Office in Washington May 12, 2014.  REUTERS
Uruguay’s President Jose Mujica (L) delivers remarks as U.S. President Barack Obama (R) welcomes him before their meeting in the Oval Office in Washington May 12, 2014. REUTERS
José Mujica dropped in on the White House recently to lecture President Obama for high smoking rates in the United States. He also said that more Americans should work to learn Spanish and become bilingual

President Barack Obama hosted Uruguayan President José Mujica in the Oval Office Monday to highlight the United States’ “close partnership” with South American country, but Obama may have gotten more than he bargained for.

In brief remarks before their meeting, a tie-less Mujica, a one-time guerrilla fighter, lectured Obama about the dangers of smoking and the need for the United States to become bilingual.

“You will have to become a bilingual country…” he told Obama. “Because the strength of Latin women is admirable and they will fill this country with people who speak Spanish and Portuguese, too.”

Addressing Obama, a one-time smoker, Mujica highlighted his country’s ongoing litigation with tobacco company Philip Morris over Uruguay’s stringent anti-smoking laws.

“Mr. President, who is speaking is an old smoker,” Mujica said. “But in the world, per year, eight million people are dying from smoking. And that is more than World War I, World War II. It’s murder. We are in an arduous fight—very arduous—and we must fight against very strong interests. Governments must not be involved in private litigation, but here we’re fighting for life.”

Time

Share:

Comments

6 responses to “Uruguay President Tells Obama U.S. needs to Learn Spanish, stop smoking”

  1. The real lebanese Avatar
    The real lebanese

    why does everybody hate on tobacco? It is ok if done in moderation.

    1. AkhouManUki Avatar
      AkhouManUki

      I say ban tobacco and let people smoke pot instead – at least there are some health benefits. On that note, pot should be mandated for Arabs and Israelis – peace would be guaranteed.

      1. The real lebanese Avatar
        The real lebanese

        Tobacco is more of a social thing, especially for Lebanese. I think the world should focus on putting a ban on all the additives tobacco companies use rather than just trying to get rid of tobacco all together. And I like your last sentence lol.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar
          5thDrawer

          Apple Flavour is not an additive … love it on the Hookah. 😉

        2. Come out and say it TRL: you love to get high!! Nothing wrong with that, especially if you are Lebanese. We should take greater pride in our blonde and red, probably our greatest export after George Clooneys fiancé 😉

          It would certainly help mellow out our brethren in the Bekaa. that fertile land needs to be economically taken advantage of! I’m looking for business partners to make it happen. That’s what CEOs do, they make killer deals happen.

    2. 5thDrawer Avatar
      5thDrawer

      Tax-gatherers don’t hate it. It’s why they refined the N.A.Indian weed in the first place.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *