Cuba y Puerto Rico son / Cuba and Puerto Rico are
De un pájaro dos alas / Two wings of the same bird
Reciben flores y balas / They receive flowers and bullets
Sobre el mismo corazón / With the same heart
—Lola Rodríguez de Tío
The “momentous” yet seemingly long-planned announcement that the United States and Cuba have agreed to re-establish diplomatic relations was an odd end to a chaotic year of crises and strife. From the summer of renewed violence in Gaza and the surge of unaccompanied children on the Mexican border to the anguish of Mike Brown/Ferguson and Eric Garner/Staten Island and the disappearance of 43 students in Ayotzinapa, there seemed to be no end to conflagrations of long-stirring conflicts that expose the myth of American exceptionalism. The cost of freedom in the first-est of First Worlds that we live in is the increasing precariousness of life outside our borders—a carnage that is often not connected to our comfort, yet is a result of the burgeoning inequality created by the gospel of globalization. Yet now, perhaps one of the sorest points of contention in the hemisphere, the 50-year U.S.-imposed embargo of Cuba, is finally being acknowledged as a mistake.