Uruguay President José Mujica may be leaving office next spring, but he won’t be leaving empty-handed. The “world’s poorest president,” known for living a simple life with a small house, three-legged dog and 1987 Volkswagen Beetle, will receive another car tomorrow.
It’s another Volkswagen, in fact -- a used 2004 model gifted by the Cancún Workers Association of Mexico. Mexican Ambassador Felipe Enriquez told weekly magazine Búsqeda of the plans Thursday. The beige car was manufactured in Mexico sometime between 1998 and 2012, he said, and the family that previously owned it only drove it about 10 miles. The ambassador said there were only 300 units of that model made in Mexico, and that Mujica told him he planned to donate it to a museum.
Mujica’s own cerulean Beetle, once declared his only asset, recently cropped up in the news after the president told Búsqueda that an Arab sheik offered him $1 million for the car. Enriquez himself had offered to buy it from the president in exchange for 10 four-wheel-drive trucks, citing his personal admiration for Mujica. The president initially said he was considering the $1 million offer, but eventually decided against it, saying he did not want to offend the friends who gifted him the car to begin with.
The president actually owns two 1987 Beetles , both of which he has said will stay in his garage as long as he and his wife are alive. “We have always been friends of Beetles,” he told Spanish news agency EFE last month.