Bureau Chief, Southeastern U.S. and Caribbean
Pascal's Feed
Aug 15, 2011

Brickbats, few bouquets, greet US lawmakers at home

MIAMI, Aug 15 (Reuters) – For weeks during the rancorous
debate over the U.S. debt ceiling limit, Americans were treated
to the widely televised spectacle of their lawmakers drubbing
each other in a bruising partisan jousting match.

When members of Congress returned home from Washington for
their summer recess this month, many received a pummeling in
turn from constituents furious over the debt and deficit
squabbling and also fretting about their livelihoods.

Aug 14, 2011

Singer Pablo Milanes urges more freedom in Cuba

MIAMI (Reuters) – One of Communist-ruled Cuba’s best-known singers, Pablo Milanes, said in quoted comments he would like to see more freedom to protest on the island as he prepared for a controversial concert this month in Miami.

Miami’s Spanish language El Nuevo Herald newspaper published an interview on Sunday with the 68-year-old two-time Grammy award winner, whose melodic and evocative ballads are well known in Latin America and internationally.

Aug 9, 2011

Wind, seas defeat 61-year-old’s Cuba to Florida swim

MIAMI (Reuters) – Contrary winds and currents forced 61-year-old American swimmer Diana Nyad to abandon early on Tuesday her bid to become the first person to swim from Cuba to Florida without a shark cage.

“Diana herself decided to end the swim … The combination of factors was too much to safely continue,” her crew members said in Tweets on her Twitter account after Nyad was pulled out of the water halfway through her attempt to swim the 103-mile distance from Havana, Cuba, to Key West.

Aug 8, 2011

U.S. swimmer, 61, pushes toward Florida in record bid

MIAMI (Reuters) – Shielded by an electrical field to ward off sharks, 61-year-old American swimmer Diana Nyad was pushing toward Florida Monday in her bid to set a new world record with a 103-mile crossing from Cuba without a shark cage.

“She is off to a strong start,” a spokeswoman for the veteran long-distance swimmer told Reuters as she stroked and kicked toward Key West in the Florida Keys, her final destination in a marathon swim expected to last some 60 hours.

Aug 4, 2011

Weather Service urges to be spared from spending cuts

MIAMI (Reuters) – Nature has not stinted in unleashing deadly weather on the United States this year and leaders should recognize the need for good forecasting services when they wield the cost-cutting knife, the director of the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Jack Hayes used the opportunity of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane forecast to stress “what taxpayers are getting in return for their investment in the National Weather Service,” which is part of NOAA.

Aug 4, 2011

‘Spare the weatherman’ call as US spending cuts loom

MIAMI, Aug 4 (Reuters) – Nature has not stinted in
unleashing deadly weather on the United States this year and
U.S. leaders should recognize the need for good forecasting
services when they wield the cost-cutting knife, the director
of the National Weather Service said on Thursday.

Jack Hayes used the opportunity of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration’s updated 2011 Atlantic hurricane
forecast to stress “what taxpayers are getting in return for
their investment in the National Weather Service,” which is
part of NOAA.

Jul 7, 2011

Venezuela’s Chavez says surgery forces slower pace

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s convalescing President Hugo Chavez showed he was still boss on Thursday with an upbeat visit to a military base but said cancer surgery was forcing him to slow a famously punishing style of leadership.

“I mustn’t overdo it, I need to rein in the old horse,” Chavez told military cadets at Caracas’ Fuerte Tiuna base.

Jul 7, 2011

In politics and health, “Dr. Fidel” counsels Chavez

CARACAS (Reuters) – When Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez was briefly deposed in a 2002 coup, it was Cuban leader Fidel Castro who roused foreign ambassadors to lobby for his return and helped organize his rescue by loyal troops.

Nearly a decade later, the Cuban “Comandante”, now 84, has rushed to the aid again of the Venezuelan socialist soul mate 30 years his junior. It was Castro who persuaded Chavez to undergo tests that led to the detection and removal of a cancerous tumor.

Jul 5, 2011

Analysis: Chavez foes see Venezuela’s cure in 2012 vote

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s opposition says the ballot box, not the clutch of cancer, offers the best chance to unseat the president who has mocked its leaders for years.

The rollercoaster drama of President Hugo Chavez’s health woes has kept Venezuelans riveted for a month.

Jul 4, 2011

Stop “playing” with Venezuela, opponent tells Chavez

CARACAS (Reuters) – President Hugo Chavez and his government have been “playing” with Venezuelans by not giving timely information about his cancer, or advance warning of his surprise homecoming, a leading opponent said on Monday.

As red-shirted Chavez supporters rejoiced in Caracas at his overnight return from Cuba after cancer treatment on the Caribbean island, Venezuela’s opposition scrambled to adjust to this latest twist in the zig-zagging presidential health drama.

    • About Pascal

      "I am based in Miami, heading the editorial reporting team covering the southeastern United States and the Caribbean. This includes Cuba and Haiti and we are also in charge of covering the annual Atlantic hurricane season and Space missions from Cape Canaveral. Previously, I was Chief Correspondent for West and Central Africa, and chief correspondent, Venezuela, following earlier postings in Cuba, Brazil, southern Africa, Portugal and Spain."
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