Houston delegation should pass on Kazakhstan

My latest with the Houston Chronicle looks at Houston's continued relations with post-Soviet autocracies:

In reality, both [Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan] are helmed by autocratic leaders who feign democratic improvement while jailing anyone who actually would improve their democratic credentials. Both are authoritarian states, far more attuned to the Putinist model than anything we would consider a free society. And both - especially Kazakhstan - are set for something approaching financial turmoil as oil prices continue to sag. ...

Texas lawmakers already have been embarrassed by their 2013 jaunt to Azerbaijan. We shouldn't let ourselves, or Mayor Parker and her band of businessmen, be embarrassed again.