President Obama's decision last week to normalize relations with Cuba was bad news for Cuban exiles who oppose engagement with the communist island. And a new poll released over the weekend doesn't give them a lot of future comfort, either.
The survey by the Bendixen and Amandi International firm, conducted for the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and Tampa Bay Times, shows Cuban-Americans are split on President Obama’s new Cuba policy: 48 percent say they disagree with it while 44 percent agree.
When I met Mexican telecom tycoon Carlos Slim six years ago, he was the world’s richest man.
Slim, however, wasn’t the world’s most generous giver. He was called the Latin American Scrooge because he’d steered such a relatively small share of his then $65 billion fortune to philanthropic causes. In our interview at his Mexico City office, he said he was correcting that – and he read a passage from “The Prophet” by the Christian philosopher Kahlil Gibran:
“Give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors’.”
One look at the Brazilian flag and you think: This must be a space-age, high-tech country. That star-spackled orb in the middle glowing like a planetarium. The banner wrapped around it hailing “Order and Progress.” Engineers must be rock stars there, right?
I admit I was scared the first time I went to Honduras, which was just last month. All I really knew of the place, aside from a little about the food, were this year's painful stories of Honduran children escaping to the United States because crippling poverty and gang violence have made their country the world's deadliest.
But my good friend was getting married, and I'd found a cheap plane ticket.
Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 4:09 pm
They call themselves "the Butterflies."
And that's not just wishful thinking.
When Gloria Amparo, Maritza Asprilla Cruz and Mery Medina sweep into NPR's bureau in central London, they are indeed as beautiful as butterflies: bright clothing, big beaming smiles. They look around in wonder at the newsroom spread out before them, laughing and joking as I make them a cup of tea.
Yet these are women who've led tough lives — born into Colombian society, where violence and abuse are commonplace.
As Haiti’s national police director from 1996 to 2002, Pierre Denize had a mission: to help the country’s fledgling democracy build a more professional and humane justice system.
Denize had seen too much of the polar opposite in his youth – especially when his parents were jailed, brutalized and exiled during the three-decade-long reign of cruelty and corruption known as the Duvalier dynasty.
There can come a time when reporters and photographers spend so much of their working lives immersed in covering one issue, one person or one country, that their relationship with the subject being covered becomes almost symbiotic.
Think of it as a detective who must know his or her suspect’s every thought and every move.
Where will they be today? What will they say today? Perhaps, more importantly, what can be confirmed today -- and what is the real reason behind the latest action?
From Stalin in Russia to Pinochet in Chile, there’s at least one thing we’ve learned about dictators: Despite the terrible things they often do, people’s memories of them can be fond as well as frightening.
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier – who ruled from 1971 to 1986 and died on Saturday in Portu-au-Prince at age 63 from a heart attack brought on in part by a tarantula bite – was no exception.
WLRN spent the weekend listening to the divided opinion on Baby Doc in Miami’s Haitian community.
Originally published on Sat October 4, 2014 2:46 pm
Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former Haitian dictator nicknamed "Baby Doc" after he succeeded his father in ruling the country, has died. Duvalier was the president of Haiti from 1971 to 1986, a brutal regime that ended in his exile. He returned to the country in 2011.
Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:09 pm
The new film The Liberator is an attempt to bring the epic story of Simon Bolivar, the George Washington of Latin America, to international audiences. Directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Alberto Arvelo, it's one of the most expensive Latin American productions to date and features epic battle scenes, rousing speeches and stunning landscapes in the spirit of historical epics like Braveheart.
It's a familiar saying among exporters -- South Florida is the shopping cart for Latin America.
From cell phones to gold, medicine to aircraft parts, it all leaves the United States from South Florida destined for overseas markets. While the pace of trade is down from a year ago, according to trade media company WorldCity, the seaports and airports here maintain a trade surplus.