Americas

Brazilian investors buy Miami real estate. Haitian earthquake survivors attend South Florida schools. It's clear what happens in Latin America and the Caribbean has a profound effect on South Florida.

WLRN’s coverage of the region is headed by Americas editor Tim Padgett, a 23-year veteran of TIME and Newsweek magazines.

He joins a team of reporters and editors at the Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald and NPR to cover a region whose cultural wealth, environmental complexity, vast agricultural output and massive oil reserves offer no shortage of important and fascinating stories to tell.

AP

Latin America and the Caribbean have so far avoided the scarier level of COVID-19 infection seen in Europe, Asia and the U.S. But the region’s numbers are starting to jump. And hemispheric health experts on Tuesday had a warning for one country in particular.

C.M. Guerrero / Miami Herald

The federal government has designated farm workers as "essential" to the U.S. food supply chain during the COVID-19 crisis. Ironically, about two-thirds of U.S. farm workers are undocumented immigrants from Latin America. Either way, they do most of our food picking and processing, especially in Florida.

So Paulino Gallegos has a question: If undocumented workers like him are “essential” to the cause – why was he recently locked up?

Ramon Espinosa / AP via Miami Herald

Last week, we asked if the U.S. should loosen economic sanctions against countries during grave crises like the new coronavirus. We considered Venezuela; this week we look at Cuba — and U.S. sanctions against its communist regime.

YouTube

COVID-19 has hit Latin America less hard than the rest of the world. But cases and deaths there are mounting – and governments are finding a good way to get the word out about protecting yourself is … music videos.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Since COVID-19 is a global pandemic, more Americans are asking a relevant question: In life-and-death emergencies like this, should the U.S. loosen economic sanctions against countries like Cuba, Iran – and especially Venezuela?

Ariana Cubillos / AP

COMMENTARY

One of the most popular, and most ridiculous, social media discussions of the past year is the big Capitalism-versus-Socialism Debate. Thanks to President Trump’s right-wing demonization of socialism, and Bernie Sanders’ left-wing demonization of capitalism, folks in America – and in Latin America, thanks to Sanders’ recent kudos to Cuba – have decided it’s an either-or issue.

It’s not, of course. The best societies are always a hybrid of free wealth production and fair wealth redistribution. And the coronavirus pandemic, from São Paulo to Seattle, may finally affirm that commonsense reality across our absurdly polarized hemisphere.

YouTube

Cuba has confirmed only four cases of the new coronavirus. But the island is about to get at least five more cases – temporarily. 

Fernando Llano / AP

COMMENTARY

I hope American men paid attention to what Mexican women did this week. And I hope it made them realize American women have reason to do the same.

Cuba Reports The First Three Cases Of The New Coronavirus In The Island

Mar 12, 2020
YAMIL LAGE / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Cuban official media reported Wednesday night that three Italian tourists are the first confirmed cases of the coronavirus on the Caribbean island.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, the tourists arrived in Cuba on March 9 and were staying at a hostel in Trinidad, a city east of Havana. A fourth Italian traveler was tested but the results were negative.

They were all in isolation at the Pedro Kourí Tropical Medicine Institute in Havana, where the tests were carried out.

Rodrigo Abd / AP

When São Paulo, Brazil, reported Latin America’s first case of the new coronavirus last month, South Florida had reason to worry.

Presidencia de Honduras

COMMENTARY

While visiting Honduras this year, acting U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf called President Juan Orlando Hernández “a valued and proven partner” for “promoting security” in Central America.

So forgive me if I looked a tad confused this week when U.S. prosecutors in New York alleged that seven years ago a Honduran drug kingpin bribed Hernández, then a presidential candidate, to protect his cocaine business if Hernández were elected.

Manuel Rueda / WLRN.org

For weeks, people across Latin America and in the U.S. had been waiting for a major ruling on abortion from Colombia’s highest court. But the decision the justices issued Monday night was not all that major – and was an anti-climactic letdown for South Florida Latinos on both sides of the issue. 

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