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.
In this episode of The Florida Roundup, we discuss what's ahead for Floridians in the new year.
A few political possibilities hang in the air for 2015. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush is making way for a 2016 presidential run. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez reconsiders his party affiliation. While this isn't an election year, candidates will make their future intentions known.
Impassioned reactions continue to pour in over the political and social implications of President Obama’s plan to normalize relations with Cuba. This week, 90.7 economic analyst Hank Fishkind takes Nicole Creston through the economic implications for Florida and for our region.
Since 1994, thousands of Cubans a year have crossed the Straits of Florida, either in smugglers' boats or in homemade vessels called chugs. Those that reach U.S. soil, as the people on these boats did at the Dry Tortugas, are allowed to stay under current policy.
The Cuban immigration policy known as "wet-foot, dry-foot" — where migrants who make it to U.S. soil can stay, while those intercepted at sea are returned to Cuba — remains in place after President Obama's announcement of normalizing relations with Cuba.
"Essentially everything remains the same. Our missions and operations here in the Southeast are unchanged," said Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma, spokesman for the Coast Guard's District 7 in Miami.
President Obama's decision last week to normalize relations with Cuba was bad news for Cuban exiles who oppose engagement with the communist island. And a new poll released over the weekend doesn't give them a lot of future comfort, either.
The survey by the Bendixen and Amandi International firm, conducted for the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Tampa Bay Times, shows Cuban-Americans are split on President Obama’s new Cuba policy: 48 percent say they disagree with it while 44 percent agree.
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 supporter Peter Bell debates with anti-Obama demonstrators at Versailles Restaurant in Miami on Dec. 17, 2014 after the decision to normalize relations between Cuba and the United States.
Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:14 am
It took a few hours for some Cubans to realize the magnitude of President Obama's announcement on Wednesday about changes in the relationship between the U.S. and Cuba, according to Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez.