Unfortunately, however, those of us who spend our professional lives monitoring religious freedom developments -- and fighting to protect those freedoms -- see the other side of the coin.
This seems like a laundry list of "gives," but these are in fact incremental steps -- particularly given that the embargo remains in force -- that will improve the everyday lives of Cubans and their families abroad and begin to thaw relations between the two countries.
Thelma Tun Thein is leaving her life in America behind to return to her native Burma, also known as Myanmar. She's going back to help people in that long-oppressed country achieve their dreams.
Buena Vista Images via Getty Images With our ever-expanding bucket lists, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the essentials. Well, we've gone t...
What we've been witnessing is the decline of state-society relations in which citizens no longer believe in their leaders, governments or certain policies -- and they are speaking out in violent and non-violent ways. There's a recurring feeling that there must be a better, more legitimate way to govern.
Every New Year's resolution involves three key ingredients -- the commitment to better one's self, the passion to try something new, and the inevitable promise to venture beyond one's comfort zone -- and no one act accomplishes those goals more than international travel.
We have no shortage of people in the Asia Society network with ideas and suggestions about what the next year will bring. The other night we hosted a panel on "Asia 2015," a whirlwind tour of the continent's near future.
We speak to esteemed Burmese cookbook author and food writer MiMi Aye to find out about Myanmar's best bites.
After his second arrest, Rafique Ahmad worried that the next time the police came for him at his home in Nyaung Chaung Village in Rakhine State Burma, he would be sent to prison. His crime? Talking too much.
President Barack Obama just spoke on the telephone with the leader of Cuba to finalize the two countries' new relations -- an event that hadn't happened in over half a century. The Cold War is now almost completely a matter of interest only to historians, to put things into context.
Buddhist nuns are everywhere among the streets of Myanmar -- of all different ages, some as young as 5. Dressed in pink loose-fitting shirts and pants with orange scarves, they have shaved heads and rely on alms to pay for their schooling, food, housing, and other basic needs.
What can be done to derail this form of militancy to prevent its expansion from a regional threat to a global one? Strategies to tackle Islamist militancy include drone strikes, foreign intervention and militant rehabilitation camps. But none of these make sense for tackling Buddhist militancy at this early stage.
As Myanmar's nationwide ceasefire negotiations continue, peace in many formerly war-torn regions has allowed state-run lifesaving services to gradually expand. But their provision is intensely politicized, and carefully crafted access strategies are vital, experts warn.
How else should we be advising Myanmar now so its version of democracy isn't derailed in the future? Here are three pieces of advice that the US and other foreign actors should offer Myanmar's government to help create a stable, more inclusive society:
I've never really thought much about jade. Perhaps it's because in New York (where I currently reside) there are thousands of jade bracelets for sale on almost every street corner for around $5. But I was schooled hard in Mandalay, Myanmar, where I hit the world-famous jade market.