[WORLD NEWS ★★★]
URUGUAY’S VICE PRESIDENT FAKED HIS UNIVERSITY DEGREE
(P1) Uruguay’s Vice President Raúl Sendic has admitted that he does not hold a university degree, even though he has been introduced as “Bachelor of Human GENETICS” in events and official documents for over two decades.
(P2) Local newspaper El Observador published an article on February 24 saying that Sendic’s CV is hard to find since it does not appear on official websites.
(P3) However, Lista 711, Sendic’s party, presents the vice president as holding a “Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Genetics from the University of Havana, Cuba.”
(P4) It TURNS OUT, however, that Sendic never graduated from the University of Havana and that he has never worked as a geneticist.
(P5) “I took a short training course to teach genetics,” Sendic admitted to El Observador. “I have never practiced as a professional or researcher in genetics beyond participating in a team in Havana that conducted research on sex CHROMOSOMES.”
(P6) The Uruguayan newspaper points out that “Sendic cannot hold a Bachelor’s of Arts in Human Genetics because that university degree does not even exist in the University of Havana … It is only a subject within Biology.”
(P7) CONTRARY TO Sendic’s claims that he never said he was a Bachelor of Genetics, El Observador found an interview from 2014 in which Sendic lied on national television.
(P8) Journalist María Noel Marrone asked him: “Is it true that you graduated in Human Genetics with honors?”. To which Sendic replied: “I studied Medicine but I couldn’t finish my career because democracy came to Uruguay, so I took a Bachelor’s Degree in Genetics. It’s true, I was an honors student for two or three years in a row. But the truth is, nowadays I don’t dare to speak about genetics. The other day we had a meeting with researchers and it’s amazing how much genetics has advanced in these 20 or 30 years. I would say I’m almost ILLITERATE in genetics now.”
(P9) The Uruguayan PENAL CODE punishes the practice of a profession or the ASSERTION of professional STATUS without proper QUALIFICATIONS.
(P10) “He who [falsely] claims academic titles or practices professions that require a special AUTHORIZATION will be punished with a fine from [US$528 to US$23,800]”.
(P11) After confirming this information, Independent Party Senator Pablo Mieres said that he felt sad and EMBARRASSED.
(P12) Uruguayans also took to social media such as Twitter to DENOUNCE a lie from Uruguay’s SECOND-IN-COMMAND.
(P13) “Raul Sendic, do your country a FAVOR and RESIGN. If have no degree, you are a shame for those of us who work hard at the University.”
(P14) “Another crime under your arm! Degree USURPER! You laugh at the people. You are a CYNICAL SCOUNDREL!”
(P15) “Raul Sendic, you are the worst! A liar, a degree usurper, an insult to all those who actually study!”
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Why do so many public figures think that they can GET AWAY WITH fake degrees and other lies?
- Has the Internet made it more difficult for public figures to lie, because it is easier to research their claims?
- Should Mr. Sendic resign?
- Have any political, business, or media figures in your country been DISGRACED recently?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Turn out
- Contrary to
- Penal code
- Get away with