Barack Obama

Obama Visits Orlando To Honor Victims of Mass Shooting

42 minutes ago
Pablo Martínez Monsiváis / AP

President Barack Obama arrived  to Orlando shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday to visit with the families of the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

President Barack Obama will travel to Orlando on Thursday to pay respects to the victims of last weekend’s nightclub shooting and to stand in solidarity with the community as it embarks on recovery, the White House said Monday night.

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Carlos Barria/Reuters

President Barack Obama's visit to Hiroshima and the trip immediately preceding it, to Vietnam, have powerful and historic symbolism. And for Americans who served in Vietnam, and the dwindling band of World War II veterans, the visits have special significance.

We were curious, too, to find out how veterans of more recent US wars were reacting. We reached out to our online veteran community and asked them: "What's your reaction to Obama's Vietnam and Hiroshima trip? And how much do World War II and the Vietnam War shape your worldview?"

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

On Saturday, Cuba’s communist leaders will launch their seventh party congress – a gathering to set the island’s future political and economic course. It will run through Tuesday, April 19.

The last congress was held five years ago – but since then, Cuba has normalized relations with its sworn cold-war enemy, the United States.

WhiteHouse.gov

COMMENTARY

Shortly after Barack Obama’s historic speech in Havana Tuesday morning, I met a smart, 34-year-old Cuban accountant named Kariel González in the Vedado district.

He’d listened to President Obama on the radio, and he was cheering the U.S. leader's last line – ¡Sí Se Puede! – a Spanish rendering of his iconic campaign slogan, Yes We Can!

González said he'd already heard Cubans repeat the soundbite on the sidewalks. “It’s the sort of thing that makes Obama so popular on the island,” he told me.

Agencia Cubana de Noticias

The White House today offered a more detailed look at President Obama's itinerary for his historic visit to Cuba next week and the trip to Argentina that will follow.

Accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama and their two daughters, as well as the President's mother-in-law, Obama will arrive in Havana Sunday afternoon, March 20. With his family he will tour Old Havana, including the Roman Catholic cathedral there, where the President will be met by Cardinal Jaime Ortega, who helped facilitate negotiations that led to the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations in December 2014.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Polls show most Cuban-Americans agree with President Obama’s normalization of relations with Cuba. But many are nonetheless wary of the historic visit he’s making there this month.

Which is why a top White House official came to Miami today to hear their concerns.

President Obama met with Cuban President Raul Castro in New York this morning, for the second time this year. The meeting took place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, which Castro is attending for the first time.

The General Assembly also brought together Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday for their first face-to-face meeting in nearly two years. That meeting appears to have done little to resolve tensions between Russia and the United States on the issue of how to deal with ISIS and Syria.

Ebrahim Noroozi / AP via Miami Herald

In a historic deal with Iran this week, the United States agreed to loosen sanctions in exchange for 10 years of limited nuclear development. Not part of that deal, though, was the release of four U.S. citizens currently being held prisoner in Iran.

Daniel Ducassi

President Barack Obama visited the Everglades last week to commemorate Earth Day and to talk about the risks climate change poses to South Florida, the nation, and the world. 

"If we don't act, there may not be an Everglades as we know it," the president said.

The president also used the opportunity to chide Governor Rick Scott for his administration’s unofficial ban of the phrase "climate change."

White House

Imagine a U.S. President came to the Summit of the Americas and, while criticizing the government of a certain oil-rich South American nation, remarked that he does enjoy Venezuelan salsa singers like Rubén Blades.

He’d be the butt of jokes on late-night Latin American TV – because Blades is Panamanian, not Venezuelan.

Low oil prices are forcing Venezuela to cut a generous subsidy program to Cuba and a dozen other Caribbean nations.

Venezuela is Latin America's largest oil producer, and its economy depends heavily on oil exports. It's been been hit hard by the tumbling oil prices.

"Venezuela is in desperate straits. The oil sector has been deteriorating, and now with the slumping oil prices, they needed cash desperately," says Michael Shifter, the president of the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington, D.C.-based group that studies the region.

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

Common Cause-Embassy of Venezuela DC/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Roberta Jacobson is burning up Twitter in English and Spanish this week trying to recover President Obama’s fumble on Venezuela.

She’s worried – and gosh, we can’t imagine why – that left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is giving his people the wrong impression about Obama’s ill-advised announcement on Monday that Venezuela is a “national security threat” to the U.S.

With the Department of Homeland Security’s funding deadline less than a month away, Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for what may be the next stage in Congress’ fight on President Obama’s immigration policies.

House Republicans have already passed their own version of DHS funding that would also block the president’s November immigration orders and deport up to four million immigrants living in the U.S. illegally.

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