Americas

Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.

WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.

He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

Tim Padgett produces the weekly Latin America Report, made possible by Espírito Santo Bank.

Pages

Commentary
4:38 pm
Thu March 12, 2015

Venezuelan Diplomat's Dreadful Remark Is Sadly Typical Of The Revolution's Rhetoric

Roy Chaderton, Venezuela's Permanent Representative to the Organization of Americans States
Credit Organization of American States

Let’s say the U.S. representative to the Organization of American States – the Washington-based diplomatic body that embraces the western hemisphere – appears on a television talk show. And let’s say he makes this neanderthal remark about members of a rival political party:

“When a sniper shoots them in the head it makes a quieter sound, like a click, because their cranial cavities are hollow, so the bullet passes through faster.”

Read more
Commentary
7:36 am
Thu March 12, 2015

Why Obama Went Over The Top On Venezuela This Week

National Security Threat? U.S. President Barack Obama (left) and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Credit Common Cause-Embassy of Venezuela DC/Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Roberta Jacobson is burning up Twitter in English and Spanish this week trying to recover President Obama’s fumble on Venezuela.

She’s worried – and gosh, we can’t imagine why – that left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is giving his people the wrong impression about Obama’s ill-advised announcement on Monday that Venezuela is a “national security threat” to the U.S.

Read more
Latin America Report
2:51 am
Wed March 11, 2015

Conan And Communism: Are U.S. Ties Nudging Cuba Toward Reform After All?

Cuban electoral authorities sift through questions and remarks from Cuban citizens during a recent - and unusual - online forum on elections.
Credit Roberto Morejon Guerra / Juventud Rebelde

All the Cuba buzz these days is about Conan O’Brien, who broadcast his TV show last week from Havana -- the first time an American late-night talk show host has done that since 1959.

Read more
Commentary
11:19 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Why Venezuela's Maduro Can Cry Wolf About The U.S. – And Get Away With It

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro
Credit Flickr

We know that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro is crying wolf when he claims – over and over and over – that the United States is plotting to carpet bomb his socialist revolution.

Read more
Latin America Report
1:49 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Painting And Passion: Frida And Diego Come To The NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

Frida Kahlo's self-portrait "Diego En Mis Pensamientos" (Diego On My Mind)
Credit NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale/Gelman Collection

In my interview this week with Fort Lauderdale philanthropist Stanley Goodman, he made a simple but salient observation about Latin American art:

“Latin America is more than Cuba.”

That fact still surprises some people in Miami-Dade County. But in Broward County – where Goodman and his wife Pearl are two of South Florida’s most prominent art collectors – it’s a less shocking idea.

Read more
Latin America Report
12:45 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Telemedicine For Haiti: The University Of Miami Makes Trauma More Survivable

Dr. Shailesh Garg (foreground) in Miami advises Dr. Kathleen Charles (on video screens) in Haiti.
Credit Tim Padgett / WLRN

Haiti is no stranger to trauma – as we were reminded on Tuesday, when a power-line accident and the ensuing panic killed 16 people during Carnival celebrations in Port-au-Prince.

Read more
U.S.-Cuba Relations
6:56 pm
Fri February 13, 2015

New Cuban Import Rules Are Historic – But No Cigar

A private Cuban vendor in Havana.
Credit 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.

Read more
Opinion
1:35 pm
Thu February 12, 2015

Latin America Needs To Be Institutionalized. Seriously

John Oliver ripping into Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa this week on HBO's "Last Week Tonight."
Credit HBO/YouTube

Kudos to British comedian John Oliver for his hilarious smackdown of Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa this week.

The host of HBO’s satirical “Last Week Tonight” skewered – impaled, really – Correa and his juvenile social media war against anyone who dares criticize him. Oliver told the infamously thin-skinned presidente to “stop Googling yourself” and advised him that “being a world leader might not be for you.”

Read more
Latin America
9:39 pm
Fri February 6, 2015

Venezuela's Condom Crisis Could Kill More Than Romance

Latex condoms like these are so scarce in Venezuela that a standard 36-pack can cost more than $750.
Credit Flickr

It seems as though every week we report on a new product shortage in Venezuela, from rice to toilet paper to breast implants. Now the western hemisphere's most oil-rich country has an acute lack of condoms. But this latest scarcity to emerge in Venezuela’s economic crisis could be deadly to more than just romance.

Thanks to a national currency crisis, Venezuela doesn’t have enough dollars to import the contraceptives. They’re so rare in Venezuela that a standard pack of 36 now costs more than $750 at the official exchange rate.

Read more
Politics
5:00 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

New Cuba Policy Faces Attacks On Capitol Hill But Still Moving Ahead

Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks at a House Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on human rights transgressions in Cuba.
Credit C-SPAN

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.

Read more
The Two-Way
10:14 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Argentina's President Will Write To Mia Farrow And Martina Navratilova About Scandal

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will send letters of clarification to two celebrities, after they tweeted about the controversial death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Kirchner is seen here during her current trip to China.
Pool/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:47 pm

Responding to criticism over a scandal involving an alleged bombing cover-up and a prosecutor's death, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will write letters to Mia Farrow and Martina Navratilova, who tweeted about the case this week.

Read more
Cuba
2:02 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Cuban Relatives Bring Differing Views To The Dinner Table

Chris Alvarez's entryway displays framed copies of essential American documents.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

Polls have shown most Cuban exiles who fled the island in the '60s and '70s oppose lifting the embargo and don't believe rekindling diplomatic relationships is a smart, or permissible, political move.

But professor Jorge Duany, head of the Cuban Research Institute at Florida International University, says it's different for younger Cuban-Americans.

"In many cases," he says, "they're willing to try a different way to relate to Cuba."

Chris Alvarez, 31, and Arianna Mendez, 22, are dating. They each relate differently to the island of their ancestors.

Read more

Pages