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.

Jose Iglesias / El Nuevo Herald

Two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, ravaged the Caribbean within two weeks of each other last September. Afterward, the world's attention fell largely on the U.S. island territory of Puerto Rico. But just as badly hit was the American territory next door: the U.S. Virgin Islands, including St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

On a hot Sunday afternoon, about 20 kids are saying grace. It’s almost lunch time, and the smell of corn tamales wafts throughout the patio of Nora Sandigo’s home in West Kendall.

Fernando Llano / AP

Every day thousands of Venezuelans are fleeing their country to escape the worst economic collapse in the world today. Many have come to South Florida. Venezuela’s GDP is sinking so deep, and its hyperinflation is rising so fast, it’s hard to keep track of exchange rates, food prices, minimum wages, foreign reserves and other critical economic indicators. And the authoritarian socialist regime is trying to keep a lot of that embarrassing data hidden.

An invitation for Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro to attend the Summit of the Americas has been withdrawn after the Latin American country's decision to hold early presidential elections – a move seen as all but shutting out the opposition.

In a terse statement on Tuesday, Peru's Foreign Minister Cayetana Aljovin said Maduro's "presence will no longer be welcome" at the Summit of the Americas, a regional policy gathering scheduled this year to be held in Lima in April.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

South Florida has petal power. Just about all the flowers that enter the U.S. come through Miami, where they're the No. 1 import.

Miami's Black Tech Week Sets Its Sights On A National Tour

Feb 12, 2018
Adrianne Gonzalez / WLRN News

On the last day of Miami's Black Tech Week conference, about 40 women (and a few men) gathered for the “Women’s Innovation Brunch and Awards” to network and share stories about the challenges of being a woman of color in the disproportionately white, male tech industry.

Luis Hidalgo / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Last week, on the eve of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s 7-day tour of Latin America, I all but wrote that I felt sorry for the man.

Here was Tillerson embarking on a mission to drum up more regional support for U.S. foreign policy goals like the restoration of democracy in Venezuela. Yet he had the ball-and-chain of President Trump’s anti-Latin American jabs –  calling Mexicans “rapists,” Haiti a “shithole” – hanging from his foot.

Courtsey Diana Caballero

Sometimes an accent can render a language sexy. Even elegant.

Orlando Sierra / AFP/Getty Images via El Nuevo Herald

COMMENTARY

When Rex Tillerson leaves for his first visit to Latin America as Secretary of State on Thursday, he’ll have the ominous warnings of two Cuban-American Senators ringing in his ears.

But it’s not communist Cuba that’s got Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida and Democratic Senator Bob Menendez of New Jersey in a lather. It’s Mexico – the first stop on the Secretary of State’s five-nation itinerary.

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