Ailing Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won't be able to attend his scheduled swearing-in this week. But his congressional allies have voted to allow the ceremony to be delayed while he recovers from his cancer surgery in Cuba.
It's estimated that more than 100,000 Venezuelans now live in South Florida legally and many more are undocumented residents who left their homeland to flee Chavez’s leftist regime.
Nowhere is their footprint larger than in the newly-incorporated city of Doral. It’s estimated that as much as 20 percent of that city’s population of 45,000 is of Venezuelan descent, the largest such concentration of expatriates in the country.
Doral is also where, in November, 54-year-old millionaire computer executive Luigi Boria was chosen as the first Venezuelan-born mayor in Florida.
His election is a testament to the strength of the Venezuelan-American community in South Florida, and especially Doral, which has been nicknamed "Doralzuela".
Aside from its Venezuelan influence, Doral is also home to nearly 8,000 businesses which are the backbone of its economy. Its location near Miami International Airport has aided its growth and its prosperity helped it avoid the worst of the recent recession.
Click the "Listen" link above to hear Boria talk about his new job, the political crisis in his old country and Doral’s developing place in South Florida.