Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 7:58 am
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.
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.
Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 3:18 pm
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.
Here’s one indicator of how much things have changed between the United States and Cuba:
When President Obama announced last month that he planned to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba’s communist regime after a half-century of bitter estrangement, no one heard from former Cuban leader Fidel Castro. And no one really cared.
President Obama’s annual State of the Union address aired Tuesday night. It’s customary for the president, the first lady and congresspeople to invite guests to the address, and Florida viewers may have recognize a few names and faces. The guests ran the gamut from former political prisoners to activists.
ALAN AND JUDY GROSS
The president invited aid contractor and recently freed Cuban political prisoner Alan Gross and his wife, Judy, to Tuesday evening’s address.
In a written statement, Broward College president J. David Armstrong says the proposal could mean more training for teachers, nurses, paramedics, firefighters and police. That's good for the economy, he says.
Miami is not a top departure point for American goods headed to Cuba. So say the official U.S. government trade statistics. Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale is the second-largest American port from which goods are sent to Cuba.
Yes, despite the 53-year-old trade embargo, America still does a little business with Cuba. The U.S. sells fresh and frozen chicken, soybeans, corn and an assortment of other food and medical supplies.
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.”
President Obama's announced opening to Cuba this week touched off vehement reactions in parts of South Florida's Cuban community. But it also exposed generational rifts that may have put time limits on the political potency of the Cuba issue.
Many in the traditional exile community believe the president caved to the Castro government and gave away much more than the U.S. would receive for opening diplomatic relations and scaling back the embargo.
Lazaro Lozano, center, protests against President Obama's decision to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States while at Versailles Restaurant on Calle Ocho in Miami on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014.
President Barack Obama shook up a half-century of U.S.-Cuba relations Wednesday, announcing the two countries had agreed to start normalizing relations. Obama wants to set up an embassy in Havana, loosen travel restrictions and allow more trade between the two countries.
South Florida's Cuban-American delegation in Congress criticized the announcement -- calling Obama the "Appeaser-in-Chief." Protesters shouted down the president in Little Havana.