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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.

Jetting To Venezuela Just Got Harder: Why American Is Slashing Flights

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It’s going to get even tougher to find a seat on a flight to Venezuela now. International airlines are cutting if not ending their service to the South American country. And that now includes the major U.S. carrier  – American Airlines.

Starting this month, American is slashing the number of flights to Venezuela from the U.S. by 80 percent. From 48 per week to just 10. Those 10 remaining flights will all be from Miami, which has the largest Venezuelan community in the U.S. Before this month, American had offered four daily flights from Miami to Caracas. That’s been cut to one, with one extra on Saturdays and two per week to Maracaibo.

Oil-rich Venezuela is suffering one of its worst economic crises. Its dollar reserves are dwindling. So the socialist government is dragging its feet when it comes to paying airlines the hard currency Venezuela owes them for ticket sales there. American is waiting for more than $750 million.

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.