Nadege Green / WLRN

Yvette Rodriguez is enjoying one of her cigars with a glass of bourbon inside Brickell Cigar Co. just on the edge of Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood where she grew up.

Brickell Cigar was the first store to carry the boutique cigar line she started with her twin sister, Yvonne, two years ago, Tres Lindas Cubanas Cigars.

Yvette runs down the names of the company’s three signature smokes.

“La Negrita, La Mulata and our Clarita,” she says pointing to the boxes along a brick-red wall.  

Jeff Flake

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently brought a handful of Democrats with her to Cuba – a trip she calls a sign of “friendship” between the U.S. and the island nation that remains under a congressionally mandated embargo.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

It's said that every writer spends his or her entire life working on a single poem or one story. Figuratively, of course, this means that writers are each possessed by a certain obsession. As such, their entire body of work, in one way or another, is generally an attempt to dimension some part of that obsession, ask questions about it, answer them and then ask many new questions.

Florida Roundup: Miami-Dade Schools And Vaccinations

Feb 20, 2015
Brittany Randolph / Flickr/Creative Commons

On the Florida Roundup we discuss the week's news with the area's top journalists.

Immigration Ruling

Pres. Obama's immigration reform plans were blocked after a federal judge put an order to halt the process. This hold has affected families in South Florida.


The United States and Cuba will hold a second round of talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations in Washington, next week.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made the announcement during her daily press conference on Tuesday.

Reuters reports:

"The sides held historic negotiations in Havana last month and the next round is seen by U.S. officials as critical to fleshing out details on re-establishing ties.

Brookings Institution

The United States hasn’t imported a thing from communist Cuba in 53 years. Today the Obama Administration set out the rules for changing that. 

But you won’t see any of Cuba’s famous cigars arriving at PortMiami just yet.

The new trade regulations, announced by the State Department, are President Obama’s latest step toward normalizing relations with Cuba. They allow independent Cuban entrepreneurs to export goods and services to the U.S. – something that hasn’t happened since Washington established a trade embargo against Cuba in 1962.
Don McDougall / flickr Creative Commons

Despite the president's diplomatic-restoration plans with Cuba moving through three days of Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill, discussions continue among South Floridians about parts of the policy. Whether changes to policy will influence change on the communist island is still up in the air. 

Florida Roundup: Diplomacy And Immigration

Feb 6, 2015

  On the Florida Roundup, we discuss the week's top stories with journalists.


U.S. lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill to discuss the renewed diplomatic relations with the communist island going forward. Despite the move to normalize relations, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen voiced concerns about making concessions without progress in Cuba.

Today on WLRN-Miami Herald News, you heard:


Today concluded three days of U.S. congressional hearings on President Obama’s plan to restore diplomatic relations with communist Cuba. The administration faced tough skepticism – at times some outright hostility – but the new policy came out largely unscathed.

Senate and House committee members from both parties questioned President Obama’s efforts to normalize Cuba relations. Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson the policy change “will not be effective” in democratizing Cuba.