Now that President Obama wants to normalize U.S. relations with communist Cuba, the big question is: Can the U.S. trade embargo last much longer? WLRN Americas editor Tim Padgett spoke to a Cuban émigré here in South Florida who doesn’t think so – and who’s helping U.S. companies prepare for an embargo-less future:
“It’s like a storm now. A storm. I finished work last night at one o’clock in the morning.”
When I met Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim six years ago, he was the world’s richest man.
Slim, however, wasn’t the world’s most generous giver. He was called the Latin American Scrooge because he’d steered such a relatively small share of his then $65 billion fortune to philanthropic causes. In our interview at his Mexico City office, he said he was correcting that – and he read a passage from “The Prophet” by the Christian philosopher Kahlil Gibran:
“Give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.”
Cocking her head with an impish grin, 6-year-old Francisca Ajtum gives her holiday voice a spin at home in Florida City.
“I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!” she sings, belting out José Feliciano’s bilingual classic “Felíz Navidad” in equally proficient English and Spanish. Her showmanship elicits giggles and shrieks from her three siblings: Her 8-year-old sister Margarita, brother Leonardo, 7, and her kinetic little sister, Bani Luz, 4.
Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro's government indicted opposition leader María Corina Machado this week for allegedly plotting to assassinate him.
But the thing to remember about Machado is that she isn't exactly the most competent anti-government operative.
She’s best known for blunders like leading the 2005 opposition boycott of parliamentary elections. That essentially gifted the National Assembly to Venezuela’s ruling and radical socialist revolution, turning it into a rubber stamp for then-President Hugo Chávez.
Among Venezuela's opposition leaders, María Corina Machado is a favorite of ex-patriates in South Florida for her strong defiance of the country's radical socialist government. But now that regime hopes to put her behind bars for a long time.
Machado, a conservative, was a congresswoman until she was stripped her of her seat this year. Officials were angry that she'd denounced Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro before the Organization of American States.
On Wednesday his government indicted Machado on charges of conspiring to assassinate him.
Today marks five years since U.S. aid contractor Alan Gross was jailed in Cuba on controversial spying charges. Gross's wife is warning he may not survive another year -- and says the family is “at the end.”
Gross, 65, is serving a 15-year sentence for bringing what Cuban officials called illegal communications equipment into the communist island. Gross was more likely arrested as retaliation for the U.S. 2001 conviction of five Cuban spies. Three are still in U.S. prisons, and the Cuban government wants them freed as a condition for freeing Gross.
Nov. 20 commemorates the start of the Mexican Revolution 104 years ago. So Americans for Legal Immigration PAC wondered if the president purposely chose that day as a way of “comparing his new immigration orders to the violent Mexican revolution and civil war.”
After weeks of angry protests in Mexico, President Enrique Peña Nieto will reportedly announce major changes to the country’s police and justice systems on Thursday. U.S. and Florida politicians are also worried about the Mexican crisis, as is the nation's representative in Miami.
One look at the Brazilian flag and you think: This must be a space-age, high-tech country. That star-spackled orb in the middle glowing like a planetarium. The banner wrapped around it hailing “Order and Progress.” Engineers must be rock stars there, right?
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos recently told WLRN that his government’s peace talks with Marxist guerrillas were “at their most difficult moment.” After a kidnapping last weekend, we now know what Santos was talking about.
From the opening pages of poet Richard Blanco’s refreshing memoir, “The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood,” it’s clear that you’re not wandering Calle Ocho in one of those nostalgic, Little Havana paradises that so many Cuban-American chronicles try to recreate.
Instead, you’re wandering a Winn Dixie in Westchester.
This Sunday marks one of the sadder remembrances on both the Latin American and Roman Catholic calendars: The 25th anniversary of the brutal military massacre of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter during El Salvador’s civil war.
Last week, voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia became the latest to approve legalizing marijuana use. They join Colorado and Washington state.
That movement conflicts with federal law, which still says pot is illegal. And it poses a foreign policy challenge for Washington, since it complicates the message the United States conveys to other nations about the drug war. That's especially true in Latin America, where Uruguay this year became the first country to legalize pot.