Jonathan Showe has traveled to Cuba more than seventy times during the past twelve years, ranking him among America’s most frequent visitors to the forbidden island. One of her Cabinet Ministers was recently overhead exclaiming “How the hell does this guy Showe keep getting to Cuba?” Persistence, tenacity, curiosity – and some modest irreverence for U.S. travel restrictions would be the answer.
Showe’s awakening to international geopolitics emerged during his college years when he served as a foreign stringer for a hometown newspaper and earned membership in the Society of Professional Journalists. His skills as an observer took shape while earning a Master’s in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, located in Washington, D.C.. That two-year program was interrupted by military service, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal.
Upon graduation he joined the Nixon, then Ford, White House where he was involved in the foreign economic policy of the United States and its international trade negotiations. His skills both as an analyst and writer were sharply honed as materials emerging from his desk found their way to foreign and domestic leaders. Subsequent years of work at a leading U.S. multinational corporation involved further analysis and presentations to international businesspeople and shapers of foreign policy.
Showe morphed from big government and big business into heading a smaller firm and his membership into the global Young Presidents’ Organization. During those years his travels grew to include more than sixty countries and his skills as an international observer, commentator and cross-cultural ambassador continued to grow. Periodic guest lectures at various colleges and universities have been greeted as insightful.
Since 1998 Showe’s principal activity has involved Cuba – trying to understand that enigmatic place by being there a lot. Enigmatic because it is much more than a place; indeed, it is a state of mind. His expansive network in Cuba ranges from humble farmers to frustrated dissidents, professionals and intellectuals, senior government officials and a fascinating array of others. With the skills of observation accumulated and sharpened during a career of forty years in the international realm, he has a keen ability to weave disparate threads into a fabric of clarity and understanding.