Doral

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Last Friday President Trump flew in for a visit to Doral.

“I know it very well,” he said. “’Little Venezuela,’ we call it.”

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

President Trump came to Southcom in Doral today to tout his administration’s new anti-narcotics push in the Caribbean. But the visit was as much about Venezuela as it was about drugs.

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They're a familiar sight and sound in South Florida’s Venezuelan community: videos of exiles defending themselves against accusations that they’re “Chavistas," or sympathizers of Venezuela’s authoritarian socialist regime, a government despised by almost every expat here.

But the “yo no soy Chavista” Facebook video Carmen Jaqueline Gimenez recently posted was of particular interest because she’s running for office in November – for mayor of Hallandale Beach.

COMMENTARY

The mercenaries who “invaded” Venezuela last weekend to capture President Nicolás Maduro and topple his disastrous, dictatorial regime called their mission Operation Gideon.

More like Operation Idiot.

Justin Tang / The Canadian Press/via AP

UPDATED JAN. 30

Venezuelan opposition leader and interim Venezuelan President Juan Guaidó has been on a world tour since last week — trying to rekindle international support for his effort to oust President Nicolás Maduro. His aides announced Miami will be the last stop on that tour before Guaidó returns to Venezuela.

Massive Fire After Tanker Burns At Oil Company Near Doral

Jan 15, 2020
Miami Dade Fire Rescue/courtesy

Flames are shooting high into the air and thick black smoke can be seen for miles after a tanker at a northwest Miami-Dade used oil company caught fire which apparently spread across the facility.

Numerous crews from Miami-Dade Fire Rescue are at the scene on the 8400 block of Northwest 68th Street where explosions could be heard.

The area is just off the Palmetto Expressway (State Road 826) north of Northwest 36th Street — near the cities of Doral and Medley.

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Two years ago, Levin de Grazia told WLRN he was the victim of a malicious online defamation campaign.

“This situation is like a witch hunt,” he said.

De Grazia is a Venezuela native and co-owner of the Bocas restaurant chain in South Florida. He’s based in Doral – the largest Venezuelan enclave in the U.S. – and he feared the effort to smear his name could ruin his business.

“It could break us,” he said at the time. “No Venezuelans want to go to a Chavista restaurant.”

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.

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