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

On the night of May 12, a group of Venezuelan expats gathered in front of the house of former Venezuelan judge Dayva Soto in Weston. They screamed insults at her in Spanish.

Ariana Cubillos / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Goldman Sachs made a dumb p.r. move last week when it bought a $2.8 billion tranche of Venezuelan government bonds – and did so in a way that appears to have handed President Nicolás Maduro’s embattled socialist government an important financial lifeline.

U.S Marshal

This interview was originally published on March 20.

Former Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega is dead at the age of 83.  The Panamanian government announced his death late Monday night, May 29. In March Noriega had undergone surgery to remove a brain tumor, and for a time had been in a coma.

Holly Pretsky / WLRN.org

COMMENTARY

I have a question for the Haitian community.

Let me preface it by saying I sympathize with your dogged efforts to win extension for federal Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, which has allowed more than 50,000 Haitians to live here since their country’s apocalyptic earthquake in 2010.

Tim Padgett / WLRN News

Car radios told Miami drivers Tuesday morning about the fatal crash on the Julia Tuttle Causeway – and they appreciated its gravity. But many didn’t understand how that accident could paralyze traffic throughout Miami.

Carlos Giusti / AP via Miami Herald

Ricardo Rosselló became Governor of Puerto Rico in January at the age of just 37 – and he inherited a disaster.

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


YouTube

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.

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