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COVID-19 In Florida, Protests In Cuba, The Tieline And Getting Ready For The Holidays — Keys Style

Holiday decorations in Key West.

Florida reaches one million coronavirus cases. Protests in Cuba. And stories from the Florida Keys — we introduce you to The Tieline newsletter.

On this Wednesday, Dec. 2, episode of Sundial:

COVID-19 In Florida

Florida recently became the third state in the country to surpass the grim milestone of one million coronavirus cases, joining Texas and California.

It's a statistic that our state knew was coming.

WLRN is committed to providing South Florida with trusted news and information. In these uncertain times, our mission is more vital than ever. Your support makes it possible. Please donate today. Thank you.

States across the country have taken many different approaches to the pandemic with varying degrees of success in containing the virus.

“He [California Governor Gavin Newsom] has had that criticism it’s just been coming from the opposite side of [Florida Governor Ron] DeSantis’ saying he went too far, that he’s kind of taken public health over economic considerations and that that’s actually hurt California more,” said KQED correspondent and host Marisa Lagos on Sundial.

“[Newsom] was the first in what’s becoming a longer line of Democratic officials in California getting criticism for kind of not following their own guidance,” she said.

Lagos co-reported an episode of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting titled the ‘Divided States of the Pandemic' with WLRN’s Broward County reporter, and Sundial guest host, Caitie Switalski Muñoz.

COVID-19 Update

Protests In Cuba

Hundreds of Cuban artists and members of the public protested outside the Ministry of Culture in Havana over the government’s actions towards free speech.

The dissent was sparked with the eight-month prison sentence of popular Cuban rapper Denis Solís after he posted a video of police entering his home without a warrant.

“The larger issue that is driving these protests is a law that was put into effect two years ago in Cuba called Decree 349 that represses artistic freedom,” said WLRN’s Americas editor Tim Padgett. “It really essentially says that artists can be subject to penalties or even arrest for anything that the regime determines is sort of against the healthy social order in Cuba or anything that’s counterrevolutionary for example.”

These types of public protests are very unusual in Cuba and even more unusual was the government initially suggested they were willing to hear their concerns in a private meeting — but they quickly walked back on that offer Sunday.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has accused the U.S. of being behind the protests via Twitter.

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, tweeted his support for “the Cuban people in their struggle for liberty.”

Protests In Cuba

The Tieline And Getting Ready For The Holidays––Keys Style

From keeping track of COVID numbers to getting in the holiday spirit — Keys style — that’s what you get with WLRN’s Florida Keys newsletter called The Tieline.

It’s a letter from Key West penned twice a month by our very own southernmost reporter Nancy Klingener.

“It sort of became almost a throwback to my very first radio stories, which were not news stories but essays — ‘a letter from Key West,’ talking about things happening here,” Klingener said.

The Key West Holiday Parade was the subject of Klingener’s first radio story, back in 2009. This year, that parade was canceled because of the pandemic.

The most recent newsletter is continuing an end-of-year WLRN tradition where we ask you to share your weird Florida stories. Like that time an opossum broke into a liquor store but got too drunk to get out.

This year’s been weird enough. So we want to hear about the moments that brought you joy in the midst of so much tragedy and uncertainty.

Send us your joyful moments via email to talktous@wlrnnews.org.

The Tieline And Getting Ready For The Holidays––Keys Style
Key West Smathers Beach

Leslie Ovalle produces WLRN's daily magazine program, Sundial. She previously produced Morning Edition newscasts at WLRN and anchored the midday news. As a multimedia producer, she also works on visual and digital storytelling.