While the right continues to believe that isolation will force out the Castros, the left is worried that capitalism will transform the system by other means. Cuba is like a vast undervalued neighborhood outside of Miami that's ripe for gentrification, and capitalism abhors such a vacuum. Some in the Cuban government fear that the proffered carrot has been poisoned; others are hoping to get a nibble for themselves. Cuba stands at a historic crossroads. Down one path lies strict adherence to the revolutionary legacy of the Castros. Down another path lies a revival of Cuba as a playground of rich moguls and shadowy criminal types, as it was just before the revolution. Are there any other paths that Cuba can take?
Small countries often have no choice but to align themselves with larger economic entities, as for instance the Baltic countries have done inside the European Union. But Poland is not a small country. It is the sixth largest EU country by population, and the largest country in East-Central Europe (twice the size of its nearest competitor, Romania).
The landslide victory for marriage equality in Ireland caught some conservatives off guard. What happened to the staunchly conservative, almost fanatical Catholicism of the Irish people? Paul Valleley, a professor of public ethics at the University of Chester, offered some important suggestions. He lists two major reasons.
A few weeks ago at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Shinzo Abe made a bold pitch to Asia to buy in on a new type of Japanese leadership. According to Mr. Abe, the peace that is at the foundation of the Asia Pacific's unprecedented growth can no longer be guaranteed. Without naming China by name, Mr. Abe warns of a new danger that looms on the horizon. The Asia Pacific needs Japanese leadership and a new affirmation of "international law."
Given its position at the head of the pack of countries in the region, Hungary was expected to be the first to make the successful transition to capitalism. But today, Hungary has fallen behind many of the other countries in the region in terms of growth, employment, debt, and other economic indicators.
Admittedly, pecking order is a rule of nature, even though our American forefathers promoted the concept that "all men are created equal." That is not so today in our country where the biggest bird not only has the advantage of eating the most seed, but shrieking if the little birds attempt to eat at all.