Avoiding the Revisionist Trap: A Look at Fidel Castro’s Legacy

It is extraordinarily rare that one gets to reflect on the life of a figure who has fundamentally altered the course of world history, and the death of Fidel Castro is one such occasion. Castro was one of the last living reminders of an era marked by the unending battle between Capitalism and Communism – he stood as the leader of a country that plagued American foreign policy and placated our enemies for decades. He also led a regime that victimized its own people and spent fifty years at the he...
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Baghdad Green Zone Breach Highlights Deeper Sectarian Concerns

In the Iraqi capital, the “Green Zone” has been considered a relatively safe haven from the chaos and turmoil that have plagued the nation since the US invasion in 2003. Sectarian violence has been a staple of Baghdadi life as Sunni and Shiite factions vie for control over Iraq’s government. Early Saturday, an ISIS car bomb went off just east of the capital, killing 21 and wounding at least 42 others. The Sunni terrorist group was reportedly targeting Shiite pilgrims travelling to holy sites ...
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While US Tightens Sanctions, North Korea Continues Unfazed

On Tuesday, President Obama signed an executive order imposing even more sanctions against the DPRK for its continued violations of the six-party talks. In response to these and UN sanctions, Kim Jong-Un ordered nuclear missile tests to come in the near future. Today, North Korea also announced that American Otto Warmbier has been sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor. Warmbier, a student at UVA, was arrested in January at the end of his holiday trip to the DPRK for “perpetrating a host...
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Let’s Talk Turkey: The Real Problem Brewing in Syria

While American foreign policy pundits are focused on ISIS as the toxic byproduct of four years of the Syrian Civil War, there is a much more important issue developing. As more international actors join the fray in Syria, tensions between some of the world’s largest militaries are escalating at an alarming rate. On one hand, we have the Russia/Iran axis that has been supporting the Assad regime since long before the outbreak of Civil War. The introduction of Russian ground and air forces (alo...
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Russian Incursions Into Georgia: The Next Crimea?

Last week, VICE News released a video chronicling a crucial and disturbing development in central Georgia. Russian-backed forces in the semi-autonomous Georgian province of South Ossetia have been slowly pushing the border with Georgia out by up to one kilometer. This has been enforced with barbed-wire fences, signs indicating a “state border,” and strict policing. Dozens of Georgians have been arrested for attempting to cross the border, and Russian policing of the area has been strict and effe...
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#FeesMustFall: The South African Student Movement With Far-Reaching National Consequences

The South African Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene was delayed in presenting his budget to parliament today when student protesters broke through the parliament gates. South African MP’s and riot police used a steady barrage of tear gas and flash grenades to push back the swelling mobs. The protesters called for Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande, yet pounded him with a barrage of water bottles while he begged them: “you asked me to speak. I’m pleading with you to let me speak.” His voice...
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Kunduz: Why it Matters

On Wednesday morning, Americans woke up to find that Kunduz, a town they’ve never heard of, had been taken over by the Taliban. Afghanis, however, woke up to find that the capital city of the Baghlan province was the first provincial capital to fall to the Taliban since 2001. In an instant, a city the size of Pittsburgh was no longer administered by the Afghan government. In the city of 300,000 people, a public health official reported that there have already been more than 150 reported civil...
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The Russian Influence: Rebels Begin a New Offensive in Eastern Ukraine

This week, Russian-backed rebels in Ukraine broke the ceasefire that was signed in early February. The fighting, which killed at least six on Tuesday, marked some of the first violence in the region since Ukrainian troops withdrew in accordance with the ceasefire. In the next two days, two pro-Russian Ukrainian journalists were shot and killed in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital. On top of this, rebel troops have been launching large-scale advances and artillery attacks against several towns still...
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Change on the Horizon: Buhari Defeats Jonathan in Nigeria

When King George III of England was told that George Washington was resigning from his office, the King responded: “If he does that, he will be the greatest man in the world.” Much of the success of the American democracy is derived from the values of our first president—the first man in modern history to voluntarily surrender his executive power. In Nigeria, President Goodluck Jonathan will have to do just that. In order to ensure the long-term survival of Africa’s largest democracy, he must...
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Burning the Bridge: the Alarming Deterioration of the US-Israel Relationship

Over the past several weeks, the Obama administration has found a way to turn the American alliance with the state of Israel into a political issue. His differences of opinion and strategy with Prime Minister Netanyahu have turned an excellent relationship into an unprecedented divide. During his reelection campaign, Netanyahu made several remarks with regards to the prospects of a Palestinian state. His comments, which were widely regarded as inflammatory and negative, were later recanted. H...
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