April 25, 2015 |
Traveling outside Cuba for the first time, Armando Lorenzo Munnet was moved to tears Wednesday by the warm welcome he received at the Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, an astonishing array of world-famous race cars on exhibit near Philadelphia International Airport. Munnet, 42, a resourceful car mechanic, is one of the stars of Havana Motor Club, a documentary about drag racing in Cuba that had its world premiere in New York City last week. "Already, I am overwhelmed," said Munnet, who pointed to the hairs bristling on his forearm as he entered the hangar-like building where dozens of champion cars, dating back a century, are on permanent display.
April 3, 2015 |
NEW YORK - A majority of Cuban Americans, whose opposition to the Communist regime in Cuba helped cement a 50-year U.S. trade embargo, now support normalizing trade relations between the two countries, according to a poll taken since President Obama's call for closer ties in December. The survey of 400 Cuban Americans by pollsters Bendixen & Amandi International, Miami, done in mid-March after the community had had three months to debate the new policy, showed 51 percent approved of Obama's call to end the embargo and improve trade relations, and 40 percent against.
January 27, 2013 |
HAVANA - The nominee for U.S. Secretary of State, Sen. John Kerry, once held up millions of dollars in funding for secretive U.S. democracy-building programs in Cuba. Defense Secretary hopeful Chuck Hagel has called the U.S. embargo against the communist-run island "nonsensical" and anachronistic. Both men are now poised to occupy two of the most important positions in President Obama's cabinet, leading observers on both sides of the Florida Straits to say the time could be ripe for a reboot in relations between the longtime Cold War enemies - despite major obstacles still in the way. Kerry's confirmation hearing was held last Thursday, with Hagel's likely to begin next Thursday.
April 18, 2012
MIAMI - Agustin Roman, the first Cuban to be appointed bishop in the United States, has died in Miami. He was 83. The Archdiocese of Miami announced Roman went into cardiac arrest and died last Wednesday. He had suffered from heart disease for several years. Archbishop Thomas Wenski called Roman a "great patriot" to the Cuban nation. Officials say Roman and 132 other priests were expelled from Cuba in 1961. He arrived in Miami, where he became a spiritual leader and advocate first for Cuban exiles and later for many other immigrants, including Haitian refugees.
April 11, 2012 |
MIAMI - Ozzie Guillen sat alone at a podium and began in Spanish, then halted in the middle of a sentence when his voice wavered. The chastened Miami Marlins manager took a sip of water and cleared his throat, then continued. Suspended for five games Tuesday for his comments lauding Fidel Castro, Guillen again apologized and said he'll do whatever he can to repair relations with Cuban Americans angered by the remarks. "I'm very sorry about the problem, what happened," said Guillen, who is only five games into his tenure with the Marlins.
March 26, 2012 |
MIAMI - Natalia Martinez speaks with a clinical distance when discussing her family's decision to leave Cuba two decades ago. But the graduate student's cool demeanor falls away when she speaks of returning to her homeland for the first time this week during Pope Benedict XVI's visit. "I am excited. I am nervous, and I'm anticipating confusion," Martinez, 25, said. She could be speaking for many of the more than 300 Cuban Americans who will form a delegation to Cuba led by Miami's Roman Catholic archbishop, Thomas Wenski.
January 27, 2012 |
MIAMI, Fla. - Any serious Republican candidate trolling for votes in Florida is bound, at some point, to make the pilgrimage to Versailles. The restaurant in the heart of Little Havana is the town square of Miami's Cubano community. Like Philadelphia's Geno's or the Famous Deli, it is where politicians go to get down with the people and pose with the specialty of the house. Instead of cheesesteaks and Reubens, here it's the coffee, served thick and sweet as the political rhetoric.
April 16, 2009
President Obama's tentative reaching out to Cuba is a long-overdue course correction in a U.S. foreign policy that has outlived its usefulness. Obama is lifting travel and spending restrictions on Americans with family on the island. He also rescinded a ban preventing U.S. telecommunications firms from seeking business in Cuba. These steps are small, but important. In fulfilling a campaign promise, Obama is trying a markedly different approach to relations with the communist nation.
August 27, 2007 |
Steve Chapman is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune 'Experience keeps a dear school," said Benjamin Franklin, "but fools will learn in no other. " But if someone who will learn only from painful experience is a fool, what do you call someone who won't learn from painful experience? Answer: a supporter of our policy toward Cuba. For nearly half a century, the United States has maintained an economic embargo in an effort to dislodge Fidel Castro from power. The 81-year-old dictator, however, has easily outlasted a succession of American presidents bent on his political demise.
July 3, 2007 |
From time to time, we will run excerpts from columnist Dick Polman's blog, Dick Polman's American Debate. Watch this page for Polman high points - and check out the blog. Fred Thompson, the GOP's purported dream candidate, might be well advised to brush up on his rhetorical skills before the official launch of his presidential campaign. Clearly he's still a bit rusty on the stump, after all those years of Hollywood make-believe. Speaking in South Carolina recently about tougher border security in the age of terrorism, Thompson warned that Cubans who habitually escape their island with a yearning to breathe free might really be coming here to blow us all up. The former Tennessee senator said that, in 2005, we "rounded up over a thousand folks who originally came from Cuba.