First, they know their portfolios. I am very impressed. And their English is incredible.
Second, they talk with their hands. In that, they are like the Americans in the room, who also talk with their hands. It is the other nationalities who refrain from waving and chopping and pointing with three fingers.
Third, for a coalition government of two parties called “Socialist,” the ministers are remarkably conservative. They are not happy about “social tariffs” in electricity, high pension payments to peasants and openly castigate politicians for overpromising. There is absolutely nothing populist about them. Sometimes, in fact, it seems like the Americans, Venezuelans and South Africans in the room are trying to persuade them that a little populism is not always a terrible thing.
I have to thank Doug Muir for pushing me to take this assignment. More to come.