It was my second trip to Guatemala. This time also work related.
My trip covered a period of 6 days in total. I had to work on Thursday & Friday, and Monday & Tuesday. Leaving the weekend in between to myself. I hadn’t made any plans yet, which turned out to be a good thing.
When my first two days of work were over on Friday afternoon, one of my Guatemalan collegua’s asked me what I was doing the weekend. “Nothing yet, have a couple of beers here and there, that’s it” was my reply.
“Why don’t you come with me, and I’ll take you to Lake Atitlan” he asked. I hadn’t planned anything, and wouldn’t mind the company, so I agreed to his proposal. “I’ll pick you up at 9 tomorrow morning (Saturday)”. Which was fine by me. Read More
Simple question to answer right? Although your answer will vary depending on your culture.
In Individualistic cultures (mainly Western Europe, North America, and Australia & New Zealand), the answer will be something like: “I’ll keep my distance“, or “I’ll leave them to them selves“. Read More
Along the way to Beijing to attend the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony this past week, President Bush made a stop in Bangkok.
His purpose was to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the alliance between Thailand (Siam when the alliance was formed) and the United States.
In his Bangkok address, Bush paid allegiance to Thailand as a significant leader in Asia and applauded the Thai government for the restoration of democracy for its citizens as well as being one of the driving forces that has helped to transform post-WWII Asia into a thriving and dynamic region.
He turned 80 recently. And however much an icon he is for Cubans, he is also mortal, meaning Fidel Castro will not live forever.
Being the longest reigning ‘benovalent’ dictator (since 1959) in the world, being in the news off and on whenever there was (another) quarrel with its neighbour the USA, the question arises, “Will life change for the Cubans after Fidel?”
From a Cultural perspective: No.
First of all Cuba is a country with a steep hierarchical society (high Powerdistance). This means that centralised power and institutions probably are there to stay. Since 1925 Fidel Castro is already the third dictator of Cuba. Their total period of reign covers 61 years! This means in a period of 100 years (1906 – 2006) only 39 years Cuba wasn’t controlled by dictators. Of which more than 10 years (1933 -1944) Cuba had a number of “puppet presidents” behind which the strong real power holders stood. And all the elected presidents had short periods of reign. There was in most cases some kind of ‘scandal’ that led to their fall. In other words society is controlled by a few people, high up in the existing power pyramid or they gain and establish central power for a long period through up rise, “coups d’etat”, revolution, etc.