American and Cuban high school students wrapped up a third round of
debates on international relations this week, agreeing to disagree on ways
to improve relations between their countries.
But they did find common ground on salsa music and baseball.
"If we've accomplished something it's this: demonstrating the importance of
process, the importance of dissent," said American student Misha Issak.
"They heard things today that they would never have heard otherwise."
The debates were the brainchild John Tredway, the debate coach at Ashland
High School of Portland, Oregon, who is leading the visiting debate team of
American students from several Oregon schools. They are designed to build
future understanding between young people from both nations.
The encounter on Thursday at the Instituto Politecnico Agropecuario, a trade
school in the outskirts of Havana province, capped two weeks of debates in
Havana and Washington DC between the Oregon students and Cuban students from
Havana area high schools.
It was the third time in less than a year that the students debated issues
ranging from the US trade embargo to human rights in Cuba.
Even in the United States, when one sues for damages (ESPECIALLY re
torts, the legal term for intentionally inflicted wrongs), one