"The city of Miami is only 200 miles or so from Havana. Countless thousands of Cubans have come to Miami -- on planes and makeshift rafts, some with little but the shirt on their back and hope in their hearts. Today, Miami is often referred to as the capital of Latin America. But it is also a profoundly American city -- a place that reminds us that ideals matter more than the color of our skin, or the circumstances of our birth, a demonstration of what the Cuban people can achieve, and the openness of the United States to our family to the South. Todos somos Americanos."
|Barack Obama speaks at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami back when he was a presidential candidate.|
This passage from Barack Obama's Thursday speech defined both Miami and this president. In some ways, Obama fundamentally misunderstands the city and is naive, bordering on reckless. In others, he's optimistic, decent, and more aware of the importance of diversity than any president since LBJ.
Modern Miami really began in 1959. That's when Fidel Castro conquered Cuba and thousands of exiles poured into this sleepy city. They worked hard. They began transforming it into an international metropolis and a bellwether for the rest of America.
It wasn't easy. There was a boatload of corruption, social mayhem, and, well, cocaine, on the road here.More »