If you’ve ever tried to send a text message to someone in Cuba, you know that… you can’t do it. But as the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations, a number of telecom barriers between the two countries are coming down. And it looks like the latest is texting.

Steve Martin / flickr Creative Commons

  On the Florida Roundup, the date for the special session has been set to organize a budget.

Florida Legislature

After no agreement during the legislative session, lawmakers will meet again on June 1 for budget discussions. They must decide before July 1.

Police behavior

AFP PHOTO / Granma

This is a reader-submitted piece in response to our April 12 story titled "Summit Summary: U.S.-Cuba Sitdown Drowns Out Venezuelan Meltdown."

In his report from the “Summit of the Americas,” WLRN’s Tim Padgett partly blames “anti-Castro hardliners who get just as much tiresome mileage out of reliving the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis day after day” for preventing the brave new world that a fawning Raul Castro and President Obama want for Cuba.

Ron Magill

Zoo Miami's mediagenic spokesman, Ron Magill, is a celebrity in Latin America thanks to his appearances on Spanish-language TV. But Magill had no idea he was famous in Cuba – until he finally visited the island last month. 

Communist Cuba is still a controversial subject in Miami. And because he’s such a high-profile Miami-Dade County employee, Magill had been hesitant to go there. But like so many Cuban-Americans, Magill resolved to see where his late Cuban father was from when President Obama announced last December the U.S. and Cuba were normalizing relations.

Florida Roundup: Health Care And Budget Plan Gaps

Apr 24, 2015
Andrew Bosch / Miami Herald

  On the Florida Roundup, here are the week's topics we discuss.

Health Coverage Gap

About 850,000 Floridians live in the health coverage gap -- they don't earn enough for subsidies through the Affordable Care Act but they don't qualify for Medicaid. However, they would benefit from Medicaid expansion if it was enacted in the state.  Lawmakers haven't come to an agreement.
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

Most South Florida lawmakers cringed when they saw President Obama shake hands with Raul Castro at the Summit of the Americas. But the momentary cringe turned into revulsion when the president shared to Congress his intent to remove the island nation from the state sponsor of terrorism list.

South Florida Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks for many in the delegation.

On the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's news with the area's top journalists. Here's a quick recap of the issues we'll discuss on the show.

U.S. And Cuba Relations

Cuba's Next Communists: Why Obama Needs Them To Make Engagement Work

Apr 15, 2015
Tim Padgett /

Cuban President Raúl Castro was the longest speaker at last weekend’s Summit of the Americas in Panama. At age 83, he was also the oldest.

And that matters as the U.S. and Cuba normalize relations after a half century of cold war – a process that on Tuesday led President Obama to remove Cuba from the State Department’s list of terrorism sponsors.

It matters because President Obama says his new engagement policy isn’t meant to change Cuba overnight. It’s meant to help the U.S. influence democratic change once Castro’s generation of hardline communists is gone.

U.S. To Remove Cuba From List Of State Sponsors Of Terror

Apr 14, 2015
Summit of the Americas

  After 33 years of designating Cuba a state sponsor of terrorism, the United States is removing its Caribbean neighbor from a list of terrorist nations in another sign of warming relations between the two countries.

President Barack Obama said a message to Congress Tuesday saying Cuba would be removed from the list because it had not provided any support for international terrorism during the preceding six months and that Cuba had provided assurances that it would not support acts of international terrorism in the future.

Tom Hudson

  Rob Valle used to fly fighter jets for the U.S. Navy. Now he flies charter flights for his company Air Key West. Since late March that has included a weekly scheduled flight from Key West International Airport to Havana. He fits nine passengers, including one in the co-pilot seat next to him. They pay $525 for the round-trip flight.