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.

COMMENTARY

It’s one of those photos that cries out for a thought bubble.

During Pope Francis’ visit to Bolivia yesterday – the second stop on the Pope’s three-country tour of South America this week – left-wing President Evo Morales offered him an unusual crucifix that depicts Jesus nailed to a hammer and sickle. That is, Jesus laid out on the international symbol for communism.

Francis reportedly muttered to Morales, "Eso no está bien." Translation: We are not amused.

Here's something you don't see every day in Washington, D.C.

Standing just a couple of blocks from the U.S. Capitol, a group of Peruvian highlanders, draped in handwoven cloths and ponchos in all the colors of the rainbow, pray to Mother Earth, to the mountains, to the spirit of their ancestors. They offer wine, incense and flowers. Their wish is that their alpaca "cover the earth like the grains of sand by the ocean."

Jose A. Iglesias / El Nuevo Herald

President Obama’s announcement last week that the U.S. will restore diplomatic relations with communist Cuba on July 20 – and will open an embassy there a few days after – is angering South Florida lawmakers.

Their options to stop the Administration are limited. But they’re moving against Obama’s new engagement policy nonetheless, and it’s shaping up as one of the summer’s big political battles.

The rhetoric from the Cuban-American congressional caucus is rising with the humid temperature in Washington, D.C.

Ricardo Arduengo / AP

COMMENTARY

Yes, yes, Cuba is big news. President Obama’s Wednesday announcement that the U.S. will open an embassy in Havana was historic stuff.

And yet – I can’t shake the feeling that the more important story out of the Caribbean this week is Puerto Rico’s financial collapse.

Ramon Espinosa / AP

On Wednesday, President Obama announced that the U.S. has agreed to formally restore diplomatic relations with Cuba, which were severed 54 years ago.

It is the first major piece of the plan Obama laid out on December 17 to normalize ties with the communist island.

The U.S. and Cuba have also reached an agreement to reopen embassies in each other’s capitals. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to be in Cuba to open the U.S. embassy.

Nadege Green / WLRN

Hundreds of thousands of Dominicans of Haitian descent could face deportation from the Dominican Republic after a constitutional ruling stripped them of their citizenship.

South Florida has one of the largest Haitian populations in the U.S., and over the past few weeks, the Haitian community here has mobilized, holding protests and meetings.

Courtesy NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale

The photographs we see from Haiti usually evoke misery – especially after the country’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. But anyone who has been to Haiti, of course, knows that’s hardly the whole picture.

Jeff Bottari / AP

Opinion

Like most attention-craving clowns, Donald Trump has to turn up his asinine rhetoric on a regular basis.

Last week, while announcing his presidential run, he hurled uber-asinine insults at Mexico – calling migrants from our southern neighbor “drug dealers, rapists and murderers.”

Normally, I’d condemn the Comb-Over King for that kind of anti-Latino bigotry. And a big part of me still most vehemently does.

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