Cuba

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Politics makes desperate bedfellows.

So it's not such a big surprise that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Miami Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart, also a Republican, appear to have finally slipped under the same campaign sheets.

Tim Padget / WLRN.org

President Obama’s policy of normalizing relations with communist Cuba enjoys larger than expected support among Cubans in Miami-Dade County, according to a new poll.

Florida International University’s biannual Cuba Poll shows almost two-thirds, or 64 percent, of Miami-Dade’s Cuban cohort back normalization, which Obama announced in December 2014. Sixty-nine percent back last year’s re-establishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba.

Kyle Holsten / WLRN

 This week, there is confusion, fear and anger in Miami Beach -- one of two Miami-Dade county zika transmission hot spots. The cause of the public outcry? The pre-dawn aerial spraying for zika-carrying mosquitoes that began this morning.  Round two of that spraying is set for Sunday.

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

There was a lot of celebration – and not a little hype – last week when JetBlue took the first U.S. commercial flight into Cuba in more than 50 years.

It was another big step in the normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. But beneath all the airborne cheering is the grim reality that Cuba’s economic wings have been all but clipped. 

Ramón Espinosa / Associated Press

On Wednesday morning,  Gate Number 10 at Fort Lauderdale’s Airport was buzzing with reporters and airport and airline-officials. They all wanted to give the first scheduled passenger jet service from the United State to Cuba in  more than 50 years a proper send-off: JetBlue-flight 387 was scheduled to leave for Santa Clara, 175 miles east of Havana, at 9:45 am.

Shying away from the spotlight while officials gave speeches was one of the pilots. First Officer Francisco Barreras is 54 years old. His parents came from Cuba in 1961.

Hector Gabino / El Nuevo Herald

Jet Blue made history on Tuesday morning with its flight  from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Clara, Cuba - the first U.S. commercial flight to Cuba in 55 years.

The first commercial flights from Tampa to Havana in more than 50 years will begin in late October at the earliest, but they're already muscling out at least one local charter company.

Steven Andrew Garcia

My mother says I’m American.

I was born in Miami, Florida, so she is technically correct. But like many other Latin Americans who grew in up the United States, I carry with me the values and traditions of my ancestors.

So I’m Latin-American --I’m a mixture of my mother’s Cuban heritage and my father's  Peruvian heritage.

Thanks to them, my American upbringing had a pinch of Latin spice to it --like literal aji amarillo, or yellow pepper, with some sweets too like my favorite red guava jelly.

Facebook via Miami Herald

Since the U.S. and Cuba normalized relations almost two years ago, Cuban migration here has surged. But a new study shows us just how dramatic that wave has become.

St. Petersburg appears to be out front in a bid to become home to the first Cuban consulate in the United States in more than five decades.

Advocates Press Hillary Clinton For Cuban Support At Rally

Jul 23, 2016
Teresa Frontado / WLRN

There were plenty of people handing out flyers at Saturday’s rally for Hillary Clinton at Florida International University (FIU).

 

But, only one group sponsored a plane to fly overhead that read: “Hillary stop Castro beating Cuban women now.”  

 

Frank Calzon is the executive director at the Center for a Free Cuba.

 

“The election is months away, and I think the time for her to speak out is now,” he said.

 

Carolyn Kaster / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Here’s a flashback from the Cold War tape loop we used to call Cuba policy:

In 2004, then U.S. President George W. Bush tightened the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, including stricter limits on how often Cuban-Americans could visit family on the island. The aim was to pressure the communist regime in Havana to adopt democratic reforms.

“We’re not waiting for the day of Cuban freedom,” Bush said, “we are working for the day of Cuban freedom.”

Monroe County Sheriff's Office

Three groups of Cuban migrants, totaling 29 men, arrived in the Keys  Sunday and Monday. 

According to the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, 13 men came ashore on Key Largo near mile marker 99 at 2:30 a.m. Sunday.

Felipe Marrou / WLRN TV

Billy Causey has a keen eye for recreational boaters doing dumb things around vulnerable coral reefs in the Florida Keys.

Especially on heavy boating holidays like the Fourth of July.

“Lookee there,” says Causey as his boat heads out from Big Pine Key. He points to a nearby cluster of party boats. “A lot of them are up on the sea grasses and people are walking around on top of small colonies of coral.”

Spencer Parts

 A Florida bank is now offering credit cards that work in Cuba. Stonegate Bank, based in Pompano Beach, began accepting applications for the cards on Tuesday night.

Previously, no U.S. bank offered credit cards that worked on the island, which meant that American businesses, professors and tourists had to carry wads of cash to pay for everything from hotel stays to teacher salaries.

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