When I revisited Vietnam in recent years, after reporting from the region during the 1970s, I noted how its rulers had won their wars against France and the United States only to lose out on the economic front, as Communism put them a quarter century behind the roaring "tigers" of East Asia. Now they are struggling to catch up by offering their cheap labor to international investors.
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With the assistance of my newfound Cuban friend and others that I made along the way, I learned that Cuba is much more than a time capsule - it is a country still deeply entrenched in a complex political situation, a struggle for financial stability, and teetering on the brink of a collective craving for a better life.
During a 1986 protest in Santiago, Chile against the human rights abuses of Augusto Pinochet's regime, teenagers setting up barricades were arrested by a military patrol. What happened next to Rodrigo Rojas DeNegri (seen right) and Carmen Quintana is a matter of dispute, but in the end, Rojas was dead and Quintana severely burned.