Miami... A Taste of Latin America in the USA

I lived in Fort Lauderdale Florida for several years. Thirty miles south of Fort Lauderdale was the city of Miami, a city I visited many times during my tenure in Florida.

At that time, Miami was your typical South Florida vacation spot, visited by “snowbirds," who flocked to the city in droves from December 15th through April 15th (the peak tourist season). During the rest of the year Miami was frequented by old Jewish retirees from the New York area (especially in the South Beach area), drug dealers, a sprinkling of budget minded off-season tourists and hearty locals who held on through the hot and humid summer month’s.

That all changed in 1980 because of the Mariel Boatlift. During that time, over 125,000 Cubans left Cuba and immigrated to Florida, the majority of whom ended up in Miami. The disruptions this caused to a city that, at the time, had a total population of only 346,681, were immense. Although there were major problems with displacement of...

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Cuba... The Mystery Revealed

Cuba has always been an intriguing mystery to me. On the one hand, we in the U.S. have been led to believe Cuba is a terribly poor country, run by a bunch of Communists, that has nothing to offer us. But, as a world traveler, always looking for my next great find, the mystery of this isolated island in the Caribbean has always drawn me to its shores.

With an average income of only $4,086, it’s true that Cuba is one of the poorest nations in the Caribbean. It’s also true that the country is run by a Communist regime. But the fact that Cuba has little or nothing to offer the world traveler is where the facts fall apart.

I must admit that I haven’t traveled all of Cuba but, the parts I have visited have plenty to offer. I’ll focus on Havana (or la- Habana with a silent “h” as the natives call it) because it’s the place most visitors will visit. la- Habana is rich with some of the most beautiful architecture in the entire Caribbean. Every...

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