When socialist Nicolás Maduro eked out last April’s special presidential election in Venezuela, I wrote: “Even if Maduro won, he lost.”
Maduro defeated the opposition candidate – the same challenger Maduro's mentor Hugo Chávez had trounced just six months earlier by an 11-percent margin – by only 1.6 percent of the vote. Maduro’s lame performance shook the socialists’ claim that Chávez’s revolution would be just as dominant without Chávez, who had died of cancer in March after ruling Venezuela for 14 years.
We Floridians might as well have been voting on different planets during the November, 2012, election. Some of us waited in line for eight or nine hours. Some were in and out of the polling place in eight minutes.
Turnout percentages ranged from the mid 50s to the mid 80s. Depending on where you lived, you had a greater or lesser chance of being forced to vote by provisional ballot, and a greater or lesser chance of that ballot eventually being discarded uncounted.
Gov. Rick Scott helped Hertz break ground last month on the rental car company’s new corporate headquarters. Hertz is relocating to Estero, FL from New Jersey, creating an anticipated 700 jobs in the state.
The state Supreme Court heard arguments Thursday for and against legalizing medical marijuana. Their decision will determine whether a proposed state constitutional amendment will get on the ballot next November.
If the amendment is approved, it would allow doctors to prescribe pot under Florida law. It would also allow registered, regulated marijuana businesses to cultivate, transport, and sell the drug.
After last month's election, Miami Beach was left without having a Latino on the city commission. This got the city, which is 53 percent Hispanic, talking. In an editorial, the Miami Herald called on newly elected mayor Phillip Levine to institute what sounds like an ethnic quota when it comes to making appointments.
When I interviewed Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos last year in Bogotá, he crowed about foreign investment pouring into his country. A nation considered a failed narco-state less than a decade ago was now one of South America’s hottest money magnets, doubling its take from the previous year.
“This is completely out of anyone’s imagination,” Santos said.
Credit European Parliament / Creative Commons/Flickr
Monday was a national holiday marking Haiti's fight for independence, but many marked the day by protesting against corruption and delays in legislative and local elections under Haitian President Michel Martelly (center).
On our rundown: violent protests by thousands against Haitian President Michel Martelly, the Dominican Republic’s decision to strip the citizenship of Dominicans of Haitian descent, and allegations that the Fort Lauderdale and Miami Gardens police are engaging in racial profiling. Plus: we look at how the Miami Book Fair has grown since it began 30 years ago.
What do you when you live in the most violent place on earth and you can’t take another day of it?
We’re not talking about Syria or Iraq or Afghanistan. This is about Honduras, in Central America, little more than a two-hour flight from Miami. It has the highest murder rate of any nation in the world today, more than 80 per 100,000 people. Its second largest city, San Pedro Sula, has the worst homicide rate of any urban area in the world, almost 175 per 100,000.
In the zero-sum game of partisan politics, it's not too often that a pollster can say what Peter Brown said Thursday morning while introducing the latest results of the Quinnipiac University poll on the Florida's governor's race.
"To some degree, this poll has good news for both candidates," said Brown, assistant director of the survey.
UPDATE: 10:30 a.m., Nov. 20: Keon Hardemon will be the next District 5 Commissioner for Miami. In the runoff election against Rev. Richard Dunn Tuesday, Hardemon received more than 72 percent of the vote. He will take office on Nov. 27.
In advance of Tuesday’s elections, City of Miami voters are reading up on the candidates, their platforms and track records, figuring out whom to give their vote to. But in the process, some constituents may discover they’ve been brushing up on candidates from the wrong district.
Conversion therapy, which is meant to turn gay people straight, may soon be banned for young people in Florida.
A bill by Sen. Jeff Clemens (D-Lake Worth) would ban conversion therapy for everyone 18 years old and younger, but it would only apply to conversion therapy offered by licensed professionals like psychologists and counselors.
Religious groups and other non-professional organizations would still be able to offer the therapy for young people.
In Washington last week, the U.S. House of Representatives made it clear that immigration reform is dead in 2013. But in Miami this week, immigrant advocates made it clear that they intend to press on, with or without reform.
At the National Immigrant Integration Conference -- which concludes Tuesday at the downtown Hilton with a mass swearing in of new U.S. citizens -- hundreds of government, business and NGO leaders discussed ways to better usher immigrants into America’s mainstream.