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Uruguay's casual president livens up sober summit with a take-down of the business suit

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Uruguay's President Jose Mujica speaks on the second day of the CELAC Summit in Havana, Cuba, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean signed a resolution declaring the region a "zone of peace" on Wednesday, pledging to resolve their disputes as respectful neighbors without the use of arms. (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate)The Associated Press

War! Imperialism! Formal attire! One after another, the leaders of Latin America and the Caribbean denounced the ills of the world at a regional summit in Cuba.

It fell to famously casual President Jose Mujica of Uruguay to tackle a subtler evil plaguing humankind: the business suit.

Mujica complained Wednesday about "the suit that industrialization imposed on the world." He called it dressing "like English gentlemen."

His tirade against the suit was a light moment in an otherwise mostly sober gathering focusing on hunger, poverty and inequality.

But Mujica was also trying to make a serious point about leaders staying faithful to their cultural roots and not alienating the common man in a region where the wealthy are a tiny minority.