Tim Padgett

Americas editor

Tim Padgett is WLRN-Miami Herald News' Americas correspondent covering Latin America and the Caribbean from Miami. He has covered Latin America for almost 25 years, for Newsweek as its Mexico City bureau chief from 1990 to 1996, and for Time as its Latin America bureau chief, first in Mexico from 1996 to 1999 and then in Miami, where he also covered Florida and the U.S. Southeast, from 1999 to 2013.

Padgett has interviewed more than 20 heads of state, including former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and he was one of the few U.S. correspondents to sit down with the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez during his 14-year rule. He has reported on, and written cover articles about, every major Latin American and Caribbean story from NAFTA, the Cuban economic collapse and Colombian civil war of the 1990s to the Brazilian boom, Venezuelan revolution and Mexican drug-war carnage of the 2000s. In 2005, Padgett received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the oldest international award in journalism, for his body of work from the region. His 1993 Newsweek cover, “Cocaine Comes Home,” won the Inter-American Press Association’s drug-war coverage award.

A U.S. native from Indiana, Padgett received his bachelor’s degree in 1984 from Wabash College as an English major. He was an intern reporter at Newsday in 1982 and 1983. In 1985 Padgett received a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School before studying in Caracas, Venezuela, at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. He started his professional journalism career in 1985 at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he led the newspaper’s coverage of the 1986 immigration reform. In 1988 he joined Newsweek in its Chicago bureau. Padgett has also written for publications such as The New Republic and America, and he has been a frequent analyst on CNN, Fox and NPR, as well as Spanish-language networks such as Univision.

Padgett has been an adult literacy volunteer since 1989. He currently lives in Miami with his wife and two children. 

Ways to Connect

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Three years ago, Venezuela’s socialist regime jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López for leading anti-government protests – and also tried to imprison López’s top lieutenant, Carlos Vecchio.

But Vecchio went into hiding and then into exile in South Florida. From here Vecchio helps lead López’s party, Voluntad Popular, or Popular Will.

Associated Press

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago a colleague and I had dinner in Culiacán, Mexico, with local journalist Javier Valdez. At the time, Mexico was locked in of some of the bloodiest narco-violence in its history. Culiacán – the capital of Sinaloa state, home to the powerful drug cartel once run by Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán – was ground zero.

Courtsey HistoryMiami Museum/Barlington Group

Earlier this year the National Trust for Historic Preservation designated Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood a national treasure. Now Little Havana is getting its own museum, on – where else? – Calle Ocho.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org


Charles Trainor / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Is the presidential candidate who threw promises to Little Haiti throwing a dragnet over it now that he’s President?

Candidate Donald Trump pledged to Haitian-American voters here that he’d be their “greatest champion.” But the Associated Press reports the Trump Administration is fishing for criminals among Haitian immigrants – specifically the 50,000 Haitians living in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status, or TPS.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Anti-government unrest in Venezuela has entered its sixth week – with almost 40 people killed. Venezuelans in South Florida are also turning up the volume against the socialist regime – and Florida Governor Rick Scott joined them Monday night in Doral.

Hundreds of expats sang the Venezuelan national anthem outside the Arepazo Dos restaurant in support of massive street protests back home. They want the ouster of left-wing President Nicolás Maduro, whom they blame for political repression and Venezuela’s economic collapse.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org


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UPDATED April 27 at 9 pm

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro calls his country’s tens of thousands of anti-government protesters “terrorists.” But the son of one high-ranking Maduro official is publicly telling the regime it’s wrong.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

Venezuela’s massive anti-government protests appear to have the staying power they’ve lacked in years past. That’s good news, since Venezuela's socialist government has destroyed an oil-rich economy and once-sturdy democracy.

But – along with the 29 people killed so far in this month's unrest – here's the bad news. The longer the demonstrations last, the greater will be their defeat if they don’t succeed in forcing that disastrously erratic and dictatorial regime to restore democratic norms and elections.

Emily Michot / Miami Herald

Venezuela is in its fourth week of massive anti-government demonstrations – and so far 21 people have been killed in the unrest.

Charles Reed / ICE (via AP)

COMMENTARY

I support immigration reform – but like most Americans, I don’t get that worked up about my government expelling undocumented immigrants convicted of felonies.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Florida Sen. Bill Nelson was in Miami Tuesday with a message about Venezuela: People there “are starving.” 

Nelson was briefed on Venezuela’s crisis by Admiral Kurt Tidd, who heads the U.S. Southern Command in Miami. Oil-rich Venezuela is suffering the worst economic collapse in modern Latin American history. And its socialist regime has become a quasi-dictatorship. Nelson said a record 18,000 Venezuelans sought asylum in the U.S. last year.

As a result, he urged the Trump administration to increase legal and economic sanctions on abusive Venezuelan leaders.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to pull its peacekeeping troops out of Haiti. But it seems few Haitians will be sad to see them go.

The U.N. peacekeepers arrived in Haiti in 2004 to bring order to violent chaos after the overthrow of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. And for a while, the more than 2,000 U.N. soldiers did that.

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Around the U.S. – and especially in South Florida – immigration is a hot-button issue under the Trump administration. But a new book by Ali Noorani, executive director of the nonprofit National Immigration Forum in Washington D.C., casts the subject in a more hopeful light.

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COMMENTARY

How much do Venezuelans hate President Nicolás Maduro? Apparently they revile him so much that – in a country where food shortages are so acute the average adult lost almost 20 pounds last year – they’re willing to throw eggs at him.

This is Semana Santa, the Easter Holy Week, a time when Maduro hoped most Venezuelans would pause their angry anti-government protests and head to the beach. Instead they pelted him with stones and eggs as his open car moved through Ciudad Guayana on Tuesday.

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