The country leaders trekking off to China with their hands out reminds me a little of the famous wedding scene in “The God Father” where friends and would be friends come to visit Don Vito Corleone private office seeking favors and gifts.
President Xi has them lined up like a super market. Each leader takes a ticket with a number on it and waits his turn.
Together, on this voyage seeking hardcore money is Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro whose country is about to implode from heavy dept and a reported 63% inflation rate. He is joined by our very own President Luis Guillermo Solís, also there to get many millions of dollars of investment while giving up only a little bit of sovereignty. The Solís list of “wants” is pretty heavy ranging from a couple of Chinese tax free zones to a real oil refinery. He is not asking for cash or at least we do not have any information that money is on the agenda. But then again, when Oscar Arias got his $30million loan at 2% we did not know about that either.
After all, we are the happiest country on the planet, right?
And then there stands the de facto president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega trying to stuff his pockets with a bigger than life canal that is sure to dwarf the one in Panama. No plans, just start digging and cough up the moola.
Ecuador has a ticket but with a high number on it and that country has to wait its turn.
Vladimir Putin made it early to China and he has a great idea. With Chinese money the two countries can build an oil pipeline where Russia can export to that country taking up the slack of the West who is not buying right now. However, he did not bank on oil prices dropping below $50 a barrel making such an investment unfeasible.
Now, if anyone really believes China is dolling out all this money absent of a ulterior motives, they are indeed dreamers. As in the case of Don Corleone, it might not be now, perhaps not a year from now but there will be a time when the favors will all be called in.