The Corner

World

Dwelling on Latin America, and More

David Luhnow, the Latin America bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, in his office with Snowy. Mexico City, February 27, 2019. (Jay Nordlinger)

Readers are familiar with David Luhnow — listeners too. He is the Latin America bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal, and he has been a guest on my Q&A podcast before. He is again, here. We spoke in Mexico City, where Luhnow is based. And where he did much of his growing up.

In this latest conversation, we talk Mexico, of course: its new populist president; its troubles old and new; its prospects. We also talk about Venezuela, Cuba, and other key countries — not excluding the United States. Further, we talk about journalism: How do people consume it? How has the business changed?

As I say in my intro, David Luhnow is “one of the sanest individuals you’ll ever meet, along with one of the most pleasant.”

At the end of our conversation, he says this: “I grew up here [in Mexico City] until 9th grade, and I always tell people that when you grow up in a closed economy, it’s like growing up in Communism — you never forget it. And I became a big fan of free trade and David Ricardo when I studied economics in college, because I thought, Yes, of course!

“And I’ve always liked trade. I get that trade has its shortcomings, and that it has caused political problems in places, but it has done wonders for Mexico and the Mexican economy. It’s a much more sophisticated economy now than it ever was, so . . .

“Growing up here gave me some perspective on matters economic and political — it was a single-party state. One becomes a fan of liberal democracy and free trade.”

I bet. Again, our podcast is here.

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