Miami

Carl Juste / Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Miami isn’t just the so-called capital of Latin America. It’s also a top dance floor for Latin American hypocrisies, right-footed or left-footed. And we’ve watched a dazzling performance of that South Florida fandango during the anti-racism protests – by folks who want to dance around the truth about Christopher Columbus and Che Guevara.

FIU LACC

Seven years ago, Miami native Frank Mora left the Pentagon and came home to take over Florida International University’s Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center, or LACC. Since then, Mora has turned the center into a more nationally important forum of conversation on Latin America.

Government of Cape Verde

Ten days ago, Colombian businessman Alex Saab was arrested in Cape Verde, an island republic off Africa’s west coast, as his private jet was refueling. Saab is wanted in the U.S. on money-laundering charges involving hundreds of millions of dollars – but his detention in Cape Verde and his possible extradition to Miami carry big political stakes in Venezuela.

Netflix

The spies known as the Cuban Five are one of the most controversial stories in U.S.-Cuba relations – especially in Miami. A new movie about that bitter episode begins streaming on Friday – and it’s sure to be just as controversial in Miami as the real thing was.

Juan Karita / AP

COMMENTARY

Tuesday night the Trump Administration made the surprising if not stunning announcement that, for the first time ever, the U.S. is nominating an American to head the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). For many if not most Latin American and Caribbean governments, the news was more jarring than hearing a gringo tourist order dinner in Spanish.

CARL JUSTE / Miami Herald

A proposal to revive a civilian oversight panel for the Miami-Dade police department passed an initial vote Tuesday, a measure that has received renewed interest on the heels of nationwide calls for law enforcement reform following the death of George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes.

Andre Penner / AP

COMMENTARY

It’s a mystery why the Trump Administration chose Miami this week as one of only two major U.S. cities to be sent “riot teams” as protests against police brutality and racism sweep the nation.

But you can be fairly sure that that brief federal deployment impressed one very large group here in particular: conservative, voter-eligible Latin American expats, especially those who fled lawlessness in their home countries for the law and order of this one. And yet, Latin American expats are precisely the South Floridian voices that should be out in front of these angry marches – warning the rest of us.

Facebook

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.

Hundreds Gather In Miami To Protest George Floyd Death

May 30, 2020
Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Hundreds of people protesting police brutality and the death of George Floyd gathered under a sweltering sun in Downtown Miami on Saturday afternoon.

By 3 p.m. the crowd had gathered at Miami’s Torch of Friendship monument at Bayfront Park, some chanting: “Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” One man, shirtless in the steamy heat that approached 90 degrees, yelled out: “Say his name!”

“George Floyd!” the crowd shouted back.

Courtesy of Dream Defenders

City of Miami workers cleared out a homeless encampment under a bridge in Overtown on Wednesday morning, a move that drew a rare sharp rebuke from the Miami-Dade Homeless Trust.

The Homeless Trust, an agency of Miami-Dade County, says that it only learned of the action through video that was posted on Twitter by the Dream Defenders, a Miami-based activist group.

Miami-Dade Cities Plan To Reopen Businesses And Parks, Hoping COVID-19 Is On Decline

May 13, 2020
Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Mayors of most of Miami-Dade’s largest cities plan to allow many businesses to reopen May 20, meaning next week is likely to mark a major step toward restarting a South Florida economy left in tatters by two months of closures during the coronavirus pandemic.

The mayors of Miami, Miami Beach, Hialeah and Miami Gardens announced their plans Wednesday, hours before Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez released details of his own plan.

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.

Seminole Theatre On Thursday To Present Virtual Open Mic Night

Apr 29, 2020
Courtesy of Ricky Valido

Having artists livestream their performances is certainly nothing new these days. But can it be done as an open mic night?

The Seminole Theatre is taking the open mic concept online on Thursday, April 30, with an intriguing mix of known and unknown acts teaming up for an eclectic and unpredictable two-hour tour through music, spoken-word and other genres. The show can be seen free of charge on its website, Seminoletheatre.org.

Miami Dance Community's Contagion-Induced, Existential Crisis

Apr 23, 2020
Courtesy of Yanni de Melo

When the rapid spread of COVID-19 vacated performance halls, it attacked Miami’s economic ecosystem of artistic activity. Within the dance community, as with many others, performers and organizations saw anticipated revenues evaporate in a matter of hours – and this in an industry dominated by 1099s.

South Florida’s Push For Theater Art And Relief Goes on

Apr 16, 2020
Florida International University

It’s mid-April, a month into isolating at home, and South Florida’s theater artists and companies are busily engaged in virtual programming, classes and relief efforts. Here’s a roundup of initiatives, some new, others ongoing.

FAU THEATRE LAB

Theatre Lab’s Online Original Monologue Festival (#OOMF) in March was a hit, so now the Florida Atlantic University company is planning a slightly different April edition of its virtual effort to help the region’s theater artists.

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