Doral

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuela’s authoritarian regime is still in power. But that hasn’t stopped the country’s opposition leader Juan Guaidó from conducting a parallel government.

Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s legitimate president this year, and the U.S. and more than 50 other countries recognize him.

Tuesday night his ambassador to the U.S., Carlos Vecchio, visited Doral to talk with Venezuelan expats about a new website where they can register for consular services Guaidó hopes to offer them, such as new Venezuelan passports.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

After Tuesday's unrest in Venezuela, expats here gathered at a Doral church to ponder the ongoing crisis in their native country. WLRN spoke with many of those Venezuelans last night and found a surprising degree of optimism.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelan art dealer Romy Moreno was in South Florida last month when she got an urgent call from her husband, Roberto Marrero, in Caracas.

Agents of Venezuela's authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro were ransacking their apartment and arresting Marrero – who is the chief of staff to Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. The U.S. and 50 other countries recognize Guaidó as Venezuela's legitimate president.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

President Donald Trump recently met with five Caribbean heads of state at his Mar-a-Lago resort in South Florida to discuss how the U.S. can help that region. U.S. officials followed that  by meeting with ministers from almost 20 Caribbean countries in Doral.

Pedro Portal / El Nuevo Herald

The Red Cross says Venezuela’s authoritarian regime will finally let international aid in to help ease a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. WLRN spoke with the wife of interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó on Sunday during her visit to South Florida to rally support.

Doral Charter School Mural Shows Support For Venezuela

Mar 21, 2019
Jamie Doolittle / WLRN News

Students at Downtown Doral Charter Elementary School are completing a mural to show solidarity with Venezuela. 

The mural features the red, blue and yellow colors of Venezuela's flag, and features a large fist that the artists say symbolizes the strength of the Venezuelan people trying to break free from oppression. It is named “Juntos Por Venezuela,” or "Together for Venezuela."

The mural is painted on the ground in front of the entrance to the school and is about the size of a large SUV. 

Charles Trainor Jr / Miami Herald

President Trump was in Miami Monday to declare to Venezuelan expats that he’s committed to the campaign to squeeze authoritarian Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro out of power. In his speech at Florida International University, Trump repeated his threat that U.S. military intervention is still possible.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

Venezuelans in South Florida woke up on Saturday to the first crack in the Venezuelan military’s loyalty to President Nicolás Maduro.

It was a video of Air Force General Francisco Yanez renouncing Maduro – the authoritarian leader widely condemned for trashing their homeland’s economy and democracy. Yanez insisted that “90 percent of the armed forces oppose Maduro,” and he called on other high-ranking officers to recognize National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela’s legitimate president – as the U.S. and many other countries have.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

South Florida’s Venezuelan expats welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to Miami on Friday to hear him rally them behind the Trump Administration’s campaign to dislodge socialist Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro from power. Most were left feeling unusually hopeful.

Pence To Meet With Venezuelan Exile Community In Miami

Jan 30, 2019
Associated Press

Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, second lady Karen Pence, will fly to Miami on Friday to meet with the Venezuelan exile community and rally the community behind opposition leader Juan Guaidó’s efforts to “restore freedom and democracy in Venezuela.”

A White House official said Pence will participate in a roundtable discussion at the Iglesia Doral Jesus Worship Center with Venezuelan exiles and community leaders including families, political prisoners and former elected officials “who were forced to flee their country due to political persecution.”

Alejandra Martinez

The city of Doral has a majority immigrant population; 82 percent are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As of last year, 28 percent of Doral's 59,000 residents are Venezuelan-born, or more than one in four people, according to the mayor's office.

Doral Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez, who was born in Cuba, says that in order for the city's huge immigrant population to play a role in the region’s economy, newly arrived immigrants must learn the "rules" of the game.

Kate Stein / WLRN

A 42-year-old Doral man walked into the Trump National Doral Miami Resort early Friday morning, began ranting about President Donald Trump and shot at police when they arrived.

Kate Stein

A man ranting about President Donald Trump and holding a large American flag walked into the lobby of Trump National Doral Miami resort early Friday morning, laid the flag down on the main counter and began firing rounds.

Danny Hwang

State and national faith leaders gathered in front of the Trump National Resort in Doral on Tuesday to rally against the annual conference of Community Financial Services Association of America.

Rev. Rachel Gunter Shapard, from Jacksonville, said payday lending catches Floridians in a vicious cycle of debt.

“Their loan is immediately paid off because it’s taken right out of the top of their income," she said. "And then there’s a hole in their budget and they can’t pay their rent, they can’t buy groceries, they have to immediately turn around and take out another loan."

Franklin Gutierrez / St Vincent de Paul

Greilys arrived in South Florida two months ago from Los Teques, Venezuela, south of Caracas, with “a few dollars and four suitcases” – hounded out of her job and her country, she says, by an increasingly brutal socialist regime.

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