Latin America

Phil Laubner / Catholic Relief Services

Last week President Trump threatened to close the U.S. southern border because record numbers of Central American migrants are arriving there – including 100,000 apprehended in March. “I’m not playing games,” Trump warned. “We can’t hold people anymore.”

But what’s lost in Trump’s border-security bluster is that there’s something unusual about this wave of Central American migrants. Most are not from Honduras or El Salvador. Most are instead from Guatemala. And immigrant advocates say the main force driving them to flee here is climate change.

Fernando Llano / AP

The political turmoil in Venezuela continues to intensify.

On Tuesday, officials loyal to President Nicolas Maduro stripped opposition leader Juan Guaidó of immunity – which means he could face prosecution and arrest.

In January, Guaidó declared himself Venezuela’s interim president. More than 50 countries, including the United States, have recognized him as president.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

It’s been less than a month since the visitor visas for Cubans coming to the U.S. were scaled down. A lot.

They used to be good for five years and you could come in again and again – similar to U.S. visitor visas for people from many other countries. But now: three months – and just one visit. And that’s clouded the future of Cuban entrepreneurs like Rubén Valladares.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Most of the news from Venezuela in recent days is not encouraging for the restoration of democracy there. Late last week President Nicolás Maduro's regime arrested Roberto Marrero, the top aide to opposition leader Juan Guaidó - whom the U.S. and 50 other countries recognize as Venezuela's legitimate president. Then on Sunday, Russia flew a military advisor and 100 troops into Venezuela to support Maduro.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett on Sundial about the latest developments.

Jose A. Iglesias / Miami Herald

One of the more disturbing sounds to hit the media airwaves last summer was a recording obtained by ProPublica of Central American children crying at an immigration detention center in Texas. They’d been separated from their parents, who had come to seek U.S. asylum.

At that same place the summer before, in 2017, a Guatemalan girl named Ana was taken from her father. She was three. Ana was sent to a relative in Immokalee, Florida, who took her to immigration lawyer Jennifer Anzardo Valdes in Miami.

Sam Turken / WLRN

Russia is using propaganda to exploit American divisions on the turmoil in Venezuela in the same way it has on issues like race relations and gun control, according to foreign policy experts and Florida International University professors.

Jamie Fly, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan public policy think tank the German Marshall Fund of the United States, said the efforts align with Russia’s support for the Maduro regime and ongoing strategy to manipulate American opinion.

AL DIAZ ADIAZ@MIAMIHERALD.COM

It’s snack time and a social worker brings five servings of yogurt with a side of bread and cream cheese into the television room where a group of elderly ladies are watching a Colombian soap opera called La Nocturna.

Other participants in this Círculo de Abuelos (Grandparents’ Circle) at Nuestra Señora de la Merced church in Old Havana stop their games of dominoes or pause from reading the newspapers to get their cups of yogurt. After their snack, many sit in rocking chairs catching the breeze that comes in from the balcony or go back to their board games.

Desmond Boylan / AP

Cuban exiles and other foes of Cuba's communist government woke up Monday morning hearing that President Trump was going to get tougher on the regime. Specifically, they expected Trump to activate an unused tool of the Cuban embargo known as Title III. He did. But what they got instead was more of a letdown than a crackdown.

WLRN's Luis Hernandez spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett about Title III – and why a lot of Cuban-Americans right now say it's still an unused tool.

Fernando Llano / AP

After the deadly clashes along Venezuela's borders this past weekend, authoritarian President Nicolás Maduro still looks firmly entrenched in power. Opposition leader Juan Guaidó is recognized by the United States and more than 50 other countries as Venezuela's legitimate president. And now he says "all options" - even U.S. military intervention - should be considered to topple Maduro's socialist regime.

WLRN's Christine DiMattei and Tim Padgett talked about where the Venezuela crisis stands now - and where it's probably headed.

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.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

A top official at the Venezuelan consulate in Miami on Monday recognized National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó as the rightful president of Venezuela. First Consul Scarlet Salazar was just the latest diplomat to abandon Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. The authoritarian socialist leader is facing an ever-growing chorus inside and outside his country demanding that he leave office.

WLRN's Christine DiMattei spoke with Americas correspondent Tim Padgett about the rapid developments in this crisis – and about whether or not Maduro can survive it.

AP/ GETTY IMAGES

U.S. embassy staff in Venezuela are required to leave the country on Saturday – the deadline imposed by President Nicolás Maduro.

 

For three days last week, thousands of Guatemalans blocked roads and major highways to protest the Central American country's slide toward a constitutional crisis. The protest organizers included groups that have long demanded justice: indigenous communities and campesinos, as rural and farm workers are called.

Fernando Llano / AP

Don’t feel bad if you’ve never heard of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó. Most Venezuelans had never heard of Guaidó – until President Nicolás Maduro’s intelligence agents dragged him from his car near Caracas last week and briefly detained him.

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