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Texas Viking Blog, Jan 25, 2007

Puppies and Presidents - Cuba and China  

Puppy Paloma is learning that life can be strange. One of our cats has tried to make friends; the other has tried to kill her for getting too close. That has to be confusing for her. But probably no more so that the latest State of the Union when the President sounded more like a Democrat and it was his own party sitting on their hands. Maybe puppies and Presidents have things in common after all.

I attended a World Affairs lunch. The speaker Joachim Bamrud, editor of the Latin Business Chronicle, gave an excellent briefing on the state of Latin America. Despite Mr. Chavez, business is moving in. He thinks Latin American countries will swing back towards the center.

He made an astute comment about Cuba. Young Cubans would love to embrace more freedoms and democracy, but currently their incomes and livelihoods are tied to Cuban government paychecks. He said if those same young people were working for U.S. or foreign companies (say, at hotels, etc.), then they would have the freedom to defy the Cuban status quo.

This confirms what I’ve thought for a long time. Our policy towards Cuba should be the same as it has been towards China – engaging in economic trade will eventually change the rest. Young Chinese love business and traveling, and not Communism.

But policies can be strange things too…

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