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

Jeff Bottari / AP

Opinion

Like most attention-craving clowns, Donald Trump has to turn up his asinine rhetoric on a regular basis.

Last week, while announcing his presidential run, he hurled uber-asinine insults at Mexico – calling migrants from our southern neighbor “drug dealers, rapists and murderers.”

Normally, I’d condemn the Comb-Over King for that kind of anti-Latino bigotry. And a big part of me still most vehemently does.

Here's what you heard today on WLRN:

Franklin Reyes / AP

As part of his effort to normalize relations with communist Cuba, President Obama wants to make it easier for Americans to travel there. But there’s still some confusion. So the Administration wants folks to bring their questions to the Twittersphere.

U.S. tourist travel to Cuba is still illegal. But Americans have long been able to travel there if they obtained U.S. government permission for purposes like family visits or academic exchanges.

Al Diaz / AP

It was the first major story I ever covered here in Miami.

The first – and quite possibly the worst. But it’s worth recalling because it led us to the Cuba moment Miami is living right now.

This Sunday marks the 15th anniversary of the end of the Elián González drama – the ugly international custody battle that gave the cable news networks bizarre fodder for seven long months in 1999 and 2000.

Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

Haitians living in the Dominican Republic face an urgent deadline Wednesday night if they want to stay in that country. But the Dominican Republic faces renewed international criticism if it carries out mass deportations of Haitians.

The Dominican Republic shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. And Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. So hundreds of thousands of Haitians have emigrated to – and were born in – the more economically stable Dominican Republic.

TECHO

In disaster relief circles, the report this month by NPR and ProPublica registered a good 8.0 on the Richter scale of wake-up calls.

Their investigation looked at what the American Red Cross had done with the half billion dollars it raised for Haiti after the country’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake.

Alexia Fodere / El Nuevo Herald

The U.S. Census Bureau considers Hispanics an ethnic group only and not a racial group. But a growing number of Hispanics have urged the census to allow them to be defined as both - and a new survey out today gives them more ammunition.

The Pew Research Center in Washington D.C. has released a new report called “Multiracial in America.” As part of the study it examined how U.S. Hispanics view themselves in terms of race.

U.S. Southern Command

Honduras gives us so many reasons to cry. The world’s worst murder rate. Grinding poverty. All those desperate, unaccompanied child migrants who poured into the U.S. last summer – and who just might come knocking on our border again this summer.

These days Honduras is giving us some good laughs, too. As in: I’m laughing so hard I’m crying, because the Honduran hilarity makes me nervous about the fate of the $1 billion the Obama Administration wants to send Honduras and Central America this year.

Shirley Bahadur / AP

More than a dozen people have been indicted in the U.S. investigation into corruption at international soccer’s governing body, FIFA. But one former FIFA leader with South Florida connections is emerging as the scandal’s poster boy.

Jack Warner is a former FIFA vice president and a member of parliament in Trinidad and Tobago. And if mounting allegations against him in the FIFA corruption scandal are true, he’s also destined to be called one of the most corrupt men in the Caribbean.

dnguah / YouTube

In March, hundreds of Brazilian-Americans in South Florida gathered at Miami’s Bayfront Park to protest massive corruption in Brazil. But many may not have known that one alleged perpetrator of all that graft back in their mother country owns a home – a really big one – just across Biscayne Bay.

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