These are the luxuries of Latin American socialist leaders
Socialism is a political doctrine that promulgates the organization of a society based on economic, political, and social equality for the whole population. However, when you look closely at the lifestyle of some of the main socialist leaders in Latin America, there seem to be some contradictions between their philosophy and the properties they flaunt.
Evo Morales, Bolivia
For 12 years Evo Morales has been the president of Bolivia, one of the poorest nations in South America. Official data from the Ministry of Economy and Public Finance of Bolivia and the National Tax Office calculated in previous years the patrimony of Morales in 388,000 dollars. The figure is low compared to most of the Latin American leaders, but the opposition ensures that Morales's luxuries surpass this sum if they count the luxury cars his family has obtained, the plane that was delivered to him by Venezuela that oscillates between the 45 million dollars, and the constructions of architectural works to highlight his career.
One of these last constructions is the controversial "Casa Grande del Pueblo", a 28-storey building that rises in the heart of the historic center of La Paz, with heliport, massage parlor, gym, modern security systems, among other luxuries. The structure that will function as a presidential house was cataloged as one of the "priorities" of the government, and its investment reaches 34 million dollars.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina
The former president of the left of Argentina (2007-2015) is accused of having left the government with 26 properties declared before the Federal Administration of Public Revenues (AFIP, by its acronym in Spanish) and the Anticorruption Office of the country. However, investigations into her possessions would have shown that there are 14 other properties in her name (11 apartments, two houses and a plot of land) not declared.
According to information collected by the Argentine newspaper El Clarín, between Cristina Fernández and her two children, there is a patrimony of 5 million dollars. This is a figure that a citizen who earns the basic salary ($ 485 per month) could achieve if he/she saves all his/her salary for 859 years.
Rafael Correa, Ecuador
Rafael Correa left Ecuador with a controversial statute known as the Law on capital gains (Ley de plusvalía, in Spanish). This applies a tax of up to 75%, when in the second sale of a good the owner gains an extra profit, which is calculated taking into account different factors.
The regulations are complex and highly criticized by citizens and different sectors of the country. However, what is not so difficult to assimilate is that Correa has a home valued at 180,000 dollars in Ecuador and, according to local newspaper El Universo, he would have acquired another property of 300,000 dollars in Belgium, his wife's country of origin.
Lula da Silva, Brazil
Former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva faces a 12-year prison sentence for, among other accusations, owning a three-story luxury apartment that he would have acquired as part of a bribe from the OAS construction company. The property in question is located on the coast of Sao Paulo and has a view of the sea.
It seems that when it comes to personal luxuries, both the right and the left forget the reality of their people, as millions of citizens would need several lives to reach a fraction of the wealth of their leaders.
Latin American Post | Krishna Jaramillo
Translated from "Un argentino necesitaría ahorrar durante 859 años para obtener el patrimonio de Cristina Fernández"