Cuba

Julia Longoria / WLRN

It's been 13 years since the first prisoners arrived at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. To mark that anniversary, this past Sunday protesters took to the streets in cities across the country.

But among all those cities, 64-year-old Miamian Linda Belgrave said Doral was one of the most important places to protest and demand that President Obama make good on the promise he made in 2009: to close the Guantánamo Bay prison.

DeWolfe and Wood Collection / Monroe County Public Library

 In the '60s, '70s and '80s, waves of Cuban immigrants crossed the Florida Straits, seeking political freedom and economic opportunity. Soon they were starting their own businesses and winning political office, infusing Cuban culture into the DNA of a South Florida city.

The city was Key West. And this was the 1860s, '70s and '80s.

WLRN

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. 

Gertrud K. / Flickr

  Editor's note: This is a pre-recorded episode.

In this episode of The Florida Roundup, we discuss what's ahead for Floridians in the new year. 

POLITICAL LEADERS

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.  

As far as I’m concerned, one of the year’s most important Latin American stories happened this week in China.

Yep, communist China. On Monday the government’s Internet watchdragon, known as the Great Firewall, pulled the plug on Gmail because it's a subversive instrument of free speech and dissent.

In the process, Beijing affirmed President Obama’s historic decision this month to pursue a policy of engagement with communist Cuba.

Stewart Cutler / Flickr

This was originally posted on Dec. 23, 2014 from WMFE.

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. 

On the President’s plan:

Broadway Musical ‘Rent’ Opens in Cuba

Dec 26, 2014
Courtesy of Carlos Gonzalez / Miami Herald

Broadway returned to Havana on Wednesday night for the first time in a half-century with a three-hour, invitation-only opening of the Tony Award winning musical Rent.

It was a natural to do on nochebuena, said the director, Miami native Andy Señor Jr., because the 1996 Tony winner about struggling artists in New York City mostly takes place on Christmas Eve.

Miami Herald

Note: This is a pre-recorded episode of the Florida Roundup. 

  On the Florida Roundup, we look back at the year that was 2014. The year ends with the biggest change in U.S. - Cuba relations in almost two generations.

ELECTIONS

Nina Hale / Flickr

About 60 percent of Americans agree with the President’s decision on Cuba, according to a new poll this week from CNN and Opinion Research Corporation.

Almost as many said the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba, which only Congress can overturn, should be lifted. And two-thirds want U.S. tourist travel to the island restored as well.

Wet-Foot, Dry-Foot Policy Stays In Place For Now

Dec 26, 2014
Nancy Klingener / WLRN

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.

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