South Florida

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.

LA Johnson/NPR

Teachers, daughters, activists, restaurant owners — these are just some of the women who inspire South Floridians. 

For the past three weeks we’ve been asking you to nominate remarkable women in honor of Women’s History Month.

Here are some of the women who were nominated and why:

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. 

Sam Turken / WLRN

First-term U.S. Rep. Donna Shalala says she is working to address climate change in South Florida by pushing for Everglades restoration, carbon fees and federal infrastructure improvements.

Pedro Portal / Miami Herald

Mulling a run for president as an independent, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in a speech at Miami-Dade College Wednesday that his presidency would be committed to bipartisanship and restoring civility and dignity in the U.S.

In front of more than 100 students and other invitees, Schultz criticized some Democrats for being too extreme and offered a glimpse of how he would campaign in South Florida.

June Barrett / Courtesy

Alfonso Cuarón’s Academy Award-winning Mexican film “Roma,” has shined a long overdue spotlight on the world’s domestic workers.

In his acceptance speech after Roma won an Oscar for “Best Foreign-Language” film, Cuarón thanked the Academy of Motion Pictures for recognizing a movie about an indigenous domestic worker, which he describes as “a character that historically had been regulated in the background in cinema.”

Daniel Varela / Miami Herald

Miami has the highest household vacancy rate among the nation’s 50 largest metro areas, according to a new study by the online loan marketplace, LendingTree.

Vacancies include housing that is for seasonal use or that is for sale or for rent and unoccupied. Using data recorded by the Census Bureau, LendingTree calculated that 17 percent of the Miami metro area’s 2.5 million households are vacant.

Tim Padgett / WLRN

Maria Diaz was confident that Saturday would mark a major step toward the collapse of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro.

As she walked out of a community forum in Weston on Venezuela’s political turmoil early in the afternoon, Diaz—who’s Venezuelan—learned the opposition had successfully sent some humanitarian aid shipments into the country. Carlos Vecchio, the opposition’s ambassador to the U.S., was also at the event and cheered with hundreds of attendees upon hearing the news. He said pressure on Maduro would only intensify.

Sam Turken / WLRN

President Donald Trump called on Tuesday for more bipartisan cooperation in his State of the Union address to a newly-divided Congress. In South Florida, Democrats and Republicans appeared no more unified after the 82-minute speech.

While conservative voters applauded his conciliatory tone on certain issues like infrastructure, progressives said polarization under Trump would remain the status quo. And as Republicans praised his continuing demands for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, liberals bashed him for demonizing immigrants.

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.

Caitie Switalski / WLRN

Thirty-three days into the longest federal government shutdown ever, food pantries across South Florida are calling for more donations and volunteers to help families impacted by the closure. 

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Some 100 South Florida middle schoolers powered up drones in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall on Wednesday, turned on the ‘Cha Cha Slide’ and coordinated the machines so they flipped and turned along with the music. Other kids performed choreographed dances with the drones, tumbling into breakdancing. 

Lily Oppenheimer / WLRN

Carrying coladas, purse-sized puppies and mountains of luggage, passengers at the terminal of Miami International Airport rushed on Wednesday to board departing flights, going about their usual routines. Many ignored the members of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, also known as NATCA, standing in the middle of the chaos, passing out flyers.

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