Cuban Miami

New Cuban Hip-Hop Meets Old Cuban Soul

Oct 9, 2014

The recurring image of a pierced heart in a gallery at the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is almost certainly coincidental. But former Miami Herald art critic Helen Kohen says for this exhibit, titled "The Miami Generation: Revisited," the motif is fitting.

"It’s an enormously strong symbol of a huge change in your life and a huge switch-over,” says Kohen. “To lose their native land. To be an exile."


This year has seen a growing chorus of polls, studies and statements calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy on communist Cuba. On Monday a new group called #CubaNow added its voice -- and signaled the growing generational shift among Cuban-Americans.

#CubaNow, based in Miami and Washington, D.C., is comprised mostly of younger Cuban-Americans who feel that a half-century of isolating Cuba has failed. They favor more open economic engagement as a way to help democratize the island.

Wilson Sayre

David’s Café, an iconic South Beach haunt for locals and tourists alike, closed its doors for good this weekend.

Located the corner of 11th Street and Collins Avenue, David’s was flanked road construction that has dragged on for almost a year. The project has blocked sidewalks and increased gridlock. Adrian Gonzalez, owner, blamed the construction and the recession for sealing the café’s fate.

WLRN's Five Most Popular Stories Feb. 17-21

Feb 24, 2014
Kenny Malone

If you were to read the week's top stories as just one, the plotline would be a little like this: A caffeine-driven abuela is on the loose. She is wanted on multiple charges, including robbing several Key West homes, criminal mischief at the Perez Art Museum, speeding on the I-95 express lanes and forcing musician Julio Iglesias out of his home and into a party.

But they're really five different stories. Here they are:

Diego Saldana-Rojas / WLRN

At LAB Miami in Wynwood this past weekend, local software developers and designers formed teams to compete for the best app that would give Cubans on the island uncensored Internet access, calling it the first ever “Cuba Hackathon.”

The event was organized by Roots of Hope, a network of young professionals working to “empower Cuba’s youth.”

Enrique Torres / WLRN

In Hialeah’s Power Food Supermarket, a lottery cashier named Isabel takes a pause between customers.

In nine years working at the store, she has seen many hopeful people play the different Florida lottery games. The 1 in 10,000 chances of winning big with a Play 4 ticket might seem disheartening, but Isabel knows about a Cuban lottery superstition that ignores the statistics.

“I used to live in the apartments on 49th Street and a white dove stood by my window all night,” she recalls. “Because I knew about the dove, I played 0024 on Play 4 that day and I won $10,000.”

Among Latinos, no group may have achieved the American dream as fully as Cuban-Americans.

Since arriving here, as a community, they've prospered. Surveys show they graduate from college at greater rates and have higher levels of homeownership than most other Latino groups.

Artur84 /

Bruno Poso was only seven when he was initiated into his family’s domino clique.  

“I didn’t even know what I was doing, but it was the best thing I had ever known,” said Poso, who learned how to play dominoes by watching his father and grandfather. “To be there with the men and being a boy, it was amazing.”

At 29, Poso has his own clique. He drives two to three times a week from his home in Coral Gables to Havana Cuba Cigar Company in Miami Lakes to play dominoes with other guys who enjoy the game.

Gringos like me don’t forget their first hallaca.

Mine was lying on a simple white plate, in the coastal town of Lecherías, Venezuela, on the patio of my future in-laws’ home. It was a soft Caribbean Christmas Eve in 1985.

The tawny tamal was swaddled in smoked banana leaves that reminded me of the lush, exotic foliage of an Henri Rousseau painting. I unwrapped it, cut into it, took a bite – and rediscovered Christmas.