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BG Falcon Media

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  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

End decades-long Cuba embargo

Nearly 48 years after enactment, America’s economic embargo on Cuba may finally be nearing its end. During both Congressional visits to the island nation and discussions between President Obama and the Cuban government, the possibility of normal economic relations between both countries has drawn much closer to reality over the past few months. Known simply as ‘el bloqueo’ (the blockade) in Latin America, the embargo is the most enduring trade ban in modern history. According to the law, most American companies are forbidden from doing any business with Cuban interests. A similar provision also prohibits all travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens. My first reaction to news of the embargo’s impending removal was one of jubilation and relief. I envisioned a future where disaffected college students everywhere could purchase Che Guevarra T-shirts directly from the country of his revolution. I imagined myself sitting on a balcony in Havana, sipping mojitos and smoking a fine Cuban cigar while laughing heartily with a few up-and-coming baseball prospects. However, once the lavish fantasies ran out, I began to think more seriously about what a colossal waste of time the embargo has been, and why dropping it is so necessary. First of all, it doesn’t work. The presidencies of Fidel Castro and his brother Raul have continued unimpeded despite the trade ban, which has failed to foment any kind of legitimate democratic uprising on the island. If anything, the embargo has only served to strengthen Fidel’s regime by giving him a convenient scapegoat to pin any and all economic problems on. Next, the embargo is completely irrational. When asked about good reasons for its continued implementation, pro-embargo politicians simply cite the Castro regime’s suppression of democracy and its human rights record. While this is an admirable sentiment, it is disingenuous at best. In reality, the U.S. maintains trade ties with some of the world’s least democratic countries and worst human rights violators, including Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe, Uzbekistan, the Central African Republic and China. Is adding Cuba to that list really going to harm our reputation? Finally, the embargo hurts both sides. In terms of sales and exports, the U.S. loses several billion dollars per year because of the ban. This loss in business affects Cuba too, and is a big reason why most of the country’s citizens remain in poverty. Last year, in a United Nations vote condemning the embargo on humanitarian grounds, the only countries backing up the U.S. position were Israel and Palau. Just for reference, with a population of around 20,000, the island nation of Palau would fit quite comfortably into Crew Stadium. Clearly the time has come to put an end to this embarrassing economic policy. Dropping the embargo would improve opinion of the U.S. abroad, give us another lucrative trading partner, and finally start making up for decades of lost trade. The Cold War ended 20 years ago. Its time to start playing ball again.

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