Cuba

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

One of the most popular, and most ridiculous, social media discussions of the past year is the big Capitalism-versus-Socialism Debate. Thanks to President Trump’s right-wing demonization of socialism, and Bernie Sanders’ left-wing demonization of capitalism, folks in America – and in Latin America, thanks to Sanders’ recent kudos to Cuba – have decided it’s an either-or issue.

It’s not, of course. The best societies are always a hybrid of free wealth production and fair wealth redistribution. And the coronavirus pandemic, from São Paulo to Seattle, may finally affirm that commonsense reality across our absurdly polarized hemisphere.

AP

When Bernie Sanders praised communist Cuba recently, most pundits wrote him off with Florida Hispanics. But in the state’s Tuesday presidential primary, it may not be that simple.

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Cuba has confirmed only four cases of the new coronavirus. But the island is about to get at least five more cases – temporarily. 

Cuba Reports The First Three Cases Of The New Coronavirus In The Island

Mar 12, 2020
YAMIL LAGE / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Cuban official media reported Wednesday night that three Italian tourists are the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the Caribbean island.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, the tourists arrived in Cuba on March 9 and were staying at a hostel in Trinidad, a city east of Havana. A fourth Italian traveler was tested but the results were negative.

They were all in isolation at the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana, where the tests were carried out.

U.S. Immigration Deports 119 Cubans Back To Havana On Miami Flight

Mar 4, 2020
Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Immigration officials deported 119 Cubans back to Havana on Friday, in a flight that departed from Miami International Airport.

The Cuba repatriation flight is at least the third in the past six months. The Trump administration’s efforts to detain and send undocumented Cubans back to the island got a boost in September, when the agency announced it successfully completed what it called one of the “largest” Cuba repatriation missions in recent history.

American Alan Gross, a prisoner in Cuba for five years during the Obama administration, is accusing Bernie Sanders of commending the communist country when the senator came to visit him behind bars.

Sanders visited Cuba as part of a congressional delegation in 2014, along with Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and Jon Tester.

During the one-hour meeting, Sanders told the prisoner that he didn't understand why others criticized Cuba, Gross said in an interview with NPR.

Andres Leighton / AP

Since taking office, President Trump has worked to gain more Latino support in Florida by casting his rival Democrats as socialists – like the regimes in Cuba and Venezuela. Last week, WLRN talked to the Democratic SuperPAC Priorities U.S.A. about the Trump's strategy. They claim it’s the President who resembles Latin American dictators.

This week WLRN speaks with Kelly Sadler, a spokesperson for America First Action, a Republican SuperPAC that strongly supports Trump. (Sadler was a communications aide to President Trump but left the White House amid a controversy over remarks she reportedly made about the late Senator John McCain.) Sadler spoke to WLRN’s Tim Padgett and Alejandra Martinez from Washington about the President – and how the GOP plans to attract more Hispanic voters.

Matt Rourke / AP

For many folks in South Florida and across the country, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' comments about Cuba touched a raw nerve. 
During a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday, Sanders praised the education and health care programs of Fidel Castro, while saying he is "very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba." 

Patrick Semansky / AP

COMMENTARY

As Bernie Sanders doubles down on his controversial praise for Fidel Castro, I’m thinking instead of another deceased Latin American dictator: Chile’s Augusto Pinochet, whose monstrous military regime murdered thousands of people in the 1970s and '80s.

Matt Rourke / AP

Democratic presidential front-runner Bernie Sanders has upset Cubans in South Florida with his recent remarks praising Fidel Castro. But it’s not just conservative Cuban Americans who are dismayed by Sanders’ rhetoric.

Priorities USA via Twitter

Last week, the Democratic Super PAC Priorities U.S.A. launched a social media ad campaign that's created a lot of buzz in South Florida.

Nick Wagner / Austin American-Statesman via AP

Bernie Sanders’ remarks about Fidel Castro on “60 Minutes” Sunday night continued to set off alarms among Florida Democrats on Monday, as worries spread about the presidential front-runner’s views on authoritarian regimes and the effect on Hispanic and undecided voters in a swing state.

AP

COMMENTARY

It took forever. But Democrats finally seem to have found an answer to President Trump’s claim – directed for years now at Latino voters in Florida – that the party is a sinister socialist cabal poised to nationalize auto factories, shutter churches and send your abuelita out to cut sugar cane to meet the Politburo’s Five-Year Plan. Like, you know, the way Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez did.

Powerful Earthquake Hits Between Cuba And Jamaica

Jan 28, 2020

A powerful magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck 86 miles northwest of Jamaica on Tuesday afternoon, sending seismic energy that could be felt throughout the northern Caribbean and as far as coastal Florida. The earthquake and ensuing aftershocks opened sinkholes on the Cayman Islands and swayed buildings from Jamaica to downtown Miami.

Wilfredo Lee / AP via Miami Herald

The Trump Administration’s year-long efforts to dislodge authoritarian regimes in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba have so far failed. That’s raised frustrations among South Florida’s exiles. And Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Miami on Thursday to address their anxieties.

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