Cuba

Carolyn Kaster / AP

I’m waiting any moment now for Marco Rubio to demand that President Obama recall our ambassador to China and shut down our embassy there.

Courtesy Peter Zimble

Part 2 of Cuba Online

Some people visit Cuba to drink up rum mojitos. Peter Zimble goes there to dream up web services.

“The woman who runs the apartment where I’m staying was lamenting that she had to walk my visa to a government office to register me as a guest,” Zimble told me by phone from Havana’s seaside Malecón. “It would be so much easier if there were an app for that.”

Miami Community Reacts To Cuba Removal From Terrorism Blacklist

May 30, 2015
Balint Földesi / https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

On Friday, the U.S. State Department announced that Cuba had been dropped from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Removal from the list means Cuba will no longer face certain sanctions related to foreign aid, defense sales and banking.

Cuba’s removal from the blacklist may also now give the “green light” for American businesses to pursue opportunities there. 

“The fact that Cuba was on this list would normally cause a person to hesitate,” said Augusto Maxwell, chair of the Cuba practice at Akerman LLP.

University Of Miami Honors Cuban Sculptor Roberto Estopiñán

May 27, 2015
Alejandro Anreus / Courtesy

Cuban-born sculptor Roberto Estopiñán used his island’s tumultuous decades as his muse.

His art reflected Cuba's political turmoil during the 1950s and later became more naturalistic during his exile.

Also a printmaker and draftsman, Estopiñán was a pioneer of direct carvings using wood and of welding techniques in Latin America. He is also recognized for his 1980s bronzes of the female torso.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Part 1 of Cuba Online

When Cuban bikini maker Victor Rodríguez visited Miami this month, he was on a pilgrimage – not just for bathing suits but for bandwidth.

The most important stop on Rodríguez’s schedule was lunch in Wynwood, Miami’s high-tech district, with Mel Valenzuela, who owns the online swimwear store Pretty Beachy.

Feedback: Cubans Do Listen To Radio Martí

May 21, 2015
Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

  This is a reader-submitted response to our May 20 story titled "Radio Martí Turns 30 -- But Is Anyone In Cuba Listening?"

I strongly disagree with the characterization in Wilson Sayre's May 20 radio report that "only sketchy data exists" on Radio Martí's audience. Independent research confirms that 20 percent of Cubans report listening to Radio Martí in the last seven days. Further, we have numerous testimonials from Cubans on the island about our programs.

Charles Trainor / Miami Herald

May 20, 1985: Ronald Reagan was president. Madonna was topping the charts. And Radio Martí went on the air.

The Miami-based, federally-funded station began beaming Spanish-language news and entertainment into communist Cuba 30 years ago today. It was a sort of tropical version of Radio Free Europe – a Cold War effort to transmit information beyond the control of the island's totalitarian Castro regime.

Nancy Klingener

When Bill Lane visits Cuba, he looks at the roads. It's not that he's a veteran traveler to Cuba even though he's visited three times since 1998. Lane works for Caterpillar. His company sells paving machines, road graders, bulldozers and other heavy equipment used to build and repair roads.

Monroe County Public Library

Every day, ferries come and go from the ferry terminal at Key West's historic seaport. For now, they're carrying passengers to Dry Tortugas National Park, 70 miles west, or from Fort Myers Beach and Marco Island on Florida's Gulf Coast.

But many on the island hope the ferry traffic to Key West will soon regain one of its historic destinations: Havana. Earlier this month, the Obama administration took another big step toward normalizing relations with Cuba when it issued licenses to at least four companies to run ferries between the U.S. and Cuba.

AP

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.

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8065/8266066249_2bac85a7c5_z.jpg
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.

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