News & Public Affairs


Should Cuban-trained doctors be banned from practicing medicine in Florida? listen

01/30/13 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Wednesday
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Two state lawmakers from South Florida want doctors who got their degrees in Cuba banned from practicing medicine in the state. But some people think they’re just catering to people who oppose Cuba’s leadership. Gail Walker is the co-executive director for an inter-religious group that helps students enroll in a medical school scholarship program.

“I would argue that the representative is trying to gain political points perhaps because he’s opposed to improved relations with Cuba...

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Tampa International Airport plans to shift car rental location to free up terminal space listen

12/20/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Tampa International Airport officials are making plans for future growth and some of the changes could happen pretty soon. The airport’s CEO told Tampa City Council members this morning that rental car facilities will likely be moved in order to free up parking spaces and cut down on road congestion around the main terminal.

The new rental car facility would be built near the post office and economy parking lots on the south side of the airport property. Tampa airport’s CEO [Joe Lopa...


Some in Tampa want to lift Cuba trade embargo listen

08/21/12 Janelle Irwin
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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A lot of people in Florida are coming around to the idea of reducing trade and travel restrictions with Cuba. People can now catch a direct flight from Tampa to Havana, but there’s still a lot of red tape and most trade is still off limits. On Tuesday, a panel of political and business professionals discussed reasons why it’s time to lift the longstanding trade embargo. Al Fox, president of the Alliance for responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, said it’s time for the U.S. to bury the h...


Cuba through eyes of an American Arab Muslim

05/18/12 Samar Jarrah
True Talk
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Due to popular demand, True Talk dedicated the hour to my 8-day trip to Cuba. It generated many phone calls and comments. Hope you will listen and let me know what you think. I wasn’t able to cover one third of what I had planned to talk about!

Here are some comments received while on the air

We are hanging on every word you say. We want to hear YOUR experiences with the most recent news. We want to hear what YOU saw, not more arguments from the exile community.

*A great take...

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Governor Rick Scott signs bill restricting major FL contracts with Cuba or Syria

05/01/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Today Florida Governor Rick Scott signed HB 959, "An act relating to state and local government relations with Cuba or Syria."

In a statement, the Governor's office wrote:

House Bill 959 lays the groundwork to prevent state and local governments from entering contracts worth $1 million or more with businesses operating in Cuba and Syria.

“The records of the Castro and Assad governments are undeniably oppressive, and have worked in ways that are counter to American interests,” ...

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Zirin hits back against Miami Marlins suspension of Guillen for Castro comments listen

04/10/12 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Tuesday
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Today Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins suspended their manager Ozzie Guillen. The infraction? Paying a compliment to former Cuban president Fidel Castro. Guillen has apologized for telling Time magazine he loves Castro. Dave Zirin writes about the politics of sports and is critical of the Marlins and the right-wing Cuban exile community in Miami for their witch-hunt of Guillen. Zirin i...


University of Tampa group takes educational trip to Cuba, despite ongoing US trade embargo listen

02/23/12 Liz McKibbon
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Despite the ongoing U.S. embargo of Cuba, it’s now easier for educational trips to the island. A group of University of Tampa students and professors traveled to Cuba as part of a cultural studies class. They presented their experiences to a standing-room-only crowd at UT’s Vaughn Center Wednesday.

Seventeen students and three professors made the tr...

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In Tampa Marco Rubio defends his characterization of parents' flight from Cuba listen

10/27/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio made his first official trip to the Tampa Bay Area today. The purpose of his visit was to field questions from the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce about policy in Washington D.C., but he came under fire for the ongoing scandal surrounding inconsistencies in his life story.

The second sentence of Marco Rubio’s biography posted on...

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Controvery over Senator Marco Rubio's claim to be a refugee from Castro

10/21/11 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Monday)

The AP is reporting:

"Freshman U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is dismissing allegations he embellished his family's history by claiming his parents were exiles.

"The Florida political leader has always publicly identified as part of the Cuban exile community. His Senate website says his parents came to America following Fidel Castro's 1959 takeover.

"But media reports Thursday revealed they'd emigrated to the U.S. in 1956. Rubio's father was a bartender and came for economi...


Florida Orchestra heads to Havana for historical music and education exchange listen

09/29/11 Josh Holton
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday
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This morning marked another milestone in Tampa Bay’s reconnection with Cuba. The Florida Orchestra sent five musicians from its wind ensemble to Havana to perform and teach master classes. This is the first time in 12 years that a professional American orchestra has sent musicians to Cuba, and only the second time since the 1959 revolution.

Flowing fanfares from fellow musicians in the brass quintet were a fine farewell for the members of the Florida...

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