Mr Howes is a 26-year-old former insurance clerk who has just been elected national secretary of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), one of the largest and most powerful blue-collar trade unions in this country.
Which makes him something of a rising star in the Australian political landscape.
What’s interesting about Mr Howes is that he started his political education as a teenage warrior of the extreme Left, a Trotskyist of sorts set on destroying capitalism.
Until he got to Havana, that is.
As this article in today’s edition of The Age reveals, Mr Howes visited Cuba about 10 years ago as a delegate to the so-called World Festival of Youth and Students, a left-over from the old Soviet days.
He was not impressed, he told the newspaper: "I decided that if I wanted to change the world, I didn't want it to be like Cuba."