In My Opinion
To the graduates:
Born in Matanzas, Cuba, in 1959, Fabiola Santiago grew up in Miami enamored of her family's nostalgic stories and their memories of the softest sands and the bluest beach in the world, Varadero. Exiled to the United States in 1969 with her parents and younger brother on one of the historic Freedom Flights, Fabiola has been a writer and editor for The Miami Herald since 1980.
Her award-winning stories and essays on arts, culture and identity have been published in several magazines and anthologies in the United States and abroad. She was the founding city editor and managing editor of the Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald from 1987 to 1993, and in 2001, shared in a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the federal government seizure of the child Elian González.
She has taught journalism at the University of Florida, Florida International University and Barry University. Fabiola is a graduate of the University of Florida and has three daughters. She lives in Miami. Her novel, Reclaiming Paris, is the story of a woman's quest for identity set in contemporary Miami to the backdrop of the city's Cuban culture and history. The book has also been published in Spanish as Siempre París and in Norwegian as Habanita. Read more about her work at www.reclaimingparis.com and www.fabiolasantiago.com.
You can contact Fabiola at firstname.lastname@example.org
To the graduates:
Memory Lane runs short in Miami, the arrival city par excellence.
In Florida, the prospect of a re-election bid for the Republican governor brought about a miracle.
A friend posted on Facebook the photo of a rugged road sign shaped like an arrow. It points to a field, metaphor for uncharted territory, and reads “Amazing Day Rd.”
Stranded on a sidewalk with $100 worth of groceries in my cart, I pondered Senator Marco Rubio’s state of denial on climate change as I watched rain waters perilously rising around my car.
All too often in Miami-Dade, we make grand leaps — in the arts, with the stunning Pérez Art Museum Miami, enjoying, after years of distress and uncertainty, record-breaking crowds and five-star reviews. But then, in the same breath, we witness a major step backward.
If there are more eloquent words, they elude me. These seem to fit better than any others to describe the disgraced politicians vowing to run for office again: No hay vergüenza.
Given the agency’s track record, the obstructionist behavior of the Florida Department of Children & Families is outrageous.
Of all the six NRA-backed gun bills introduced this year in the Florida Legislature, the most dangerous is the proposal to arm teachers and administrators on campus.
Global warming may be causing sea levels to rise, but in Florida, the metaphorical sunshine is fading.
Blame the bout of premature nostalgia on the aroma wafting from the Café Versailles counter at Miami International Airport’s D-7, gateway to my spring break bliss along the country roads and rocky coast of the Northeast.
When the lawmakers attacking him over a few choice words were in high school, Eduardo Padrón was already playing a key role in stewarding this community through truly troubled times.
The other day I drove by a young man wildly waving a large red sign on a grassy median, the kind of mobile advertising one sees during tax season.
On first read, the Associated Press report on the “Cuban Twitter” sounds ominous and cloak-and-daggerish — like an old Cold War caper.
Three days of loud “thump, thump” electronic music, eye-popping light shows and throngs of unruly concertgoers are any neighborhood’s nightmare, urban or not.
There’s seldom a dearth of pathetic and pitiable news on my plate.
My favorite part of Miami CEO Mike Fernandez’s email to Gov. Rick Scott’s top advisors: “I will say this again, I am not a Yes Man and don’t mistake my smile and courteous nature as a weakness.”
In my next life, I’m going to be more Machiavellian about my career choices. Instead of writing about social issues, I’ll flex my muscle in sports.
They were somebody – and their lives mattered.