Our friends in Latin America
Take Michelle Bachelet.
The otherwise very sensible Chilean president is due in Havana next month for a much-anticipated visit that will include talks with Raul Castro and other senior Cuban officials, as well as a possible meeting with Fidel Castro … assuming the old dictator is well enough to receive visitors.
But it seems Ms Bachelet will decline an invitation to meet with a small group of dissidents and former political prisoners, with officials arguing that such a meeting would not be appropriate during an official presidential visit.
In other words, nothing will be done during the visit that in any way upsets the Castro brothers.
Given Ms Bachelet’s experiences under the Pinochet dictatorship and her long-held commitment to democratic values in Latin America, the decision to travel to Cuba is of concern, and her decision to snub the dissidents is well, disappointing, to say the least.
Still, it merely confirms that when it comes to the Castro regime, most Latin American leaders will continue to bend over backwards to please Havana.