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 these sponsors:

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Americas
8:00 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Why This Summer Offers Hope For Better U.S.-Cuba Relations

Cuban dissident blogger Yoani Sánchez speaking to State Department officials during her visit to the U.S. earlier this year, after Cuban leader Raúl Castro began allowing Cubans to travel abroad.
Credit U.S. State Department

 

Like a lot of idealistic U.S. presidents, Barack Obama took office in 2009 hoping to establish better dialogue with communist Cuba. Remember his plan to “pursue direct diplomacy” with Havana? Then he quickly discovered what most U.S. presidents find out:

First, communist Cuba really doesn’t want improved dialogue with Washington, since conflict with the U.S. offers more political payoff on the island. Hence Cuban leader Raúl Castro’s 2009 Christmas gift to Obama: the arrest of U.S. aid subcontractor Alan Gross on dubious espionage charges.

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Democracy
10:05 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Tales Of Three National Protests — In Pictures

demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents poured out onto the streets across much of Egypt, launching an all-out push to force him from office on the first anniversary of his inauguration." href="/post/tales-three-national-protests-pictures" class="noexit lightbox">
Egyptians gather in Tahrir Square during a demonstration against President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo on Sunday. Hundreds of thousands of Morsi opponents poured out onto the streets across much of Egypt, launching an all-out push to force him from office on the first anniversary of his inauguration.
Amr Nabil AP

Originally published on Sun June 30, 2013 6:02 pm

Sometimes pictures do a better job of conveying what's going on in the world.

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Americas
3:56 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

Why Florida Is Out Of Step With The Rest Of The Hemisphere On Marijuana

Credit reason.com

Florida Governor Rick Scott on Thursday signed a “bong ban” bill that outlaws the sale of pipes and other marijuana-smoking paraphernalia.

We’re used to Scott being out of step with his state: in this case, a recent poll shows 70 percent of Florida voters support medical marijuana legalization. And with his country: most Americans now back marijuana legalization. And maybe with his hemisphere: Latin American and Caribbean government representatives gathered this week primarily to urge the Obama Administration to consider making pot legal.

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Television
10:43 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Can 'Devious Maids' Really Break Stereotypes About Latinas?

Judy Reyes (from left), Roselyn Sanchez, Ana Ortiz and Dania Ramirez all star in Lifetime's new series about Latina housemaids, Devious Maids.
Lifetime

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 8:36 am

On Sunday nights this summer, Lifetime is hoping to draw audiences with a campy, soapy drama from Marc Cherry, the creative mind behind Desperate Housewives. It's called Devious Maids, and it looks nothing like anything else on television because it has five Latina stars. It's an unprecedented lineup for a prime-time drama.

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Americas
12:16 pm
Fri June 28, 2013

Who Are These 'Bankers' Ecuador Keeps Referencing?

Ecuador is considering an asylum request from Edward Snowden, who reportedly is still holed up at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Kirill Kudryavtsev AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 28, 2013 1:38 pm

If you've paid attention to the case of Edward Snowden, you might have heard Ecuadorean officials refer to some bankers the U.S. is refusing to hand over.

Ecuador, of course, is considering an asylum request from the NSA leaker. The U.S. is pressuring them to abide by an extradition request, while Ecuador is taunting the giant.

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Americas
4:44 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Obama: NSA Leaker Edward Snowden Has More Documents

Edward Snowden, seen during a video interview with The Guardian.
Glenn Greenwald/Laura Poitras EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:12 am

During a news briefing in Senegal, President Obama said NSA leaker Edward Snowden was in possession of more classified documents and that the government did not know "what other documents he may try to dribble out there."

That said, the president added that he will not "be scrambling jets to get a 29-year-old hacker."

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Americas
7:50 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Amid Construction Boom, Migrants Flow Into Brazil

Construction is underway on the Itaquerao stadium in Sao Paulo, shown here June 12. The stadium will be the venue for the opening ceremony and game of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, and many migrants are among the laborers working on the project.
Sebastiao Moreira EPA/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 5:34 am

Brazil is in the midst of a building boom as it constructs stadiums across the country in preparation for the World Cup it will host next year. In Sao Paulo, hundreds of workers are building a massive arena that will take many more months to complete.

But not all of the workers are Brazilian.

Marie Eveline Melous, 26, arrived from Haiti just a few months ago because life was so difficult, especially after the huge earthquake in 2010. "It's hard to find work. I came to Brazil to help my situation," she says.

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Americas
11:27 am
Wed June 26, 2013

Immigration Debate Marks Rising Clout Of Young Latinos

Jose Machado reacting last year to President Obama's decree halting the deportation of young undocumented immigrants (aka "DREAMers") like himself who were brought to the U.S. as children.
Credit Roberto Koltun/The Miami Herald

Jose Antonio Machado was brought to Miami as an undocumented immigrant from Matagalpa, Nicaragua, when he was six years old. He grew up here with his mother, Melba, also an indocumentada, until she was deported two years ago after being pulled over for a traffic violation.

“I expected her home at 11:15 p.m. that night,” says Machado, now an 18-year-old who graduated this month from Miami Senior High School. “Eventually I fell asleep. The next morning I realized she wasn’t there.”

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Americas
3:01 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Why Would Ecuador Want Edward Snowden?

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (left) and Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino appear on a window of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on June 16. Assange has been living at the embassy for the past year. Patino announced Sunday that Ecuador would consider giving asylum to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Frank Augstein AP

Originally published on Mon June 24, 2013 3:06 pm

Ecuador says it is considering Edward Snowden's request for asylum.

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Americas
1:16 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Brazil's Indians Reclaim Land Citing Promises, Using Force

Indigenous leaders from Brazil's Terena tribe attend a meeting with government officials in the capital, Brasilia, on June 6. Brazil's Indians have been demanding greater land rights and are increasingly coming into conflict with large ranchers and farmers.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Sat June 22, 2013 9:59 pm

It was once the cattle farm of a former congressman, but now his stately house in the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul is a burned-out shell. Thatch huts are being built in the shade of flowering palm trees. Once the purview of one farmer's family, it now is occupied by dozens of indigenous ones.

Indian activists say this is just the beginning.

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