September 2021 Research Links and Discussion Questions


Issue 1: Cuba Embargo S.1694 "Freedom to Export to Cuba Act of 2021"           
United Nations: “UN General Assembly calls for US to end Cuba embargo"      
U.S. Department of State: “Cuba Sanctions”                       
Secretary Blinken: “Sanctioning Cuban Officials in Response to Violence”       
BBC: “Cuba Tightens Control of Internet After Protests”       “Differences Between Capitalism and Communism”       

Issue 2: Puerto Rico Statehood

H.R.1522 Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act                   
Puerto Rico 51st Site: “Puerto Rico – Destined for Statehood”           
Senate Republican Party Committee: “Practical Problems with Statehood”      
Harvard Politics: “The Meaningless Vote for Puerto Rican Statehood”      
ABC News: “Puerto Rico Votes in Favor of Statehood. What Does It Mean?"   
University of Connecticut: “Puerto Rico Citizenship Archives”           


Issue 1: Cuba Embargo

  1. What are the effects of the U.S. embargo on the people of Cuba? 
  2. Will easing the trade ban against Cuba and opening its economy to outside investment and tourism help the country? Why or why not?
  3. Capitalism is based on the principle of individual rights, whereas communism is based on the principle of community rights. Which system do you think is best? Why?
  4. Under capitalism, the government is not as involved in running people’s lives. Under communism, there is a high level of government intervention. Which philosophy is better—capitalism or communism? Why?
  5. What might be some of the potential pitfalls to lifting sanctions and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba?  

Issue 2: Puerto Rico Statehood

1.    Should Puerto Rico be granted statehood? Why or why not?
2.    Why should the United States want Puerto Rico as a state?
3.    What other policies could mitigate the problems seen by proponents of statehood? Explain your answer(s).
4.    Should any or all of the other U.S. territories be granted statehood? Why or why not?
5.    What other measures might be considered, if any, to resolve the lack of representation in Congress, citizenship, and other concerns?