Tim Padgett

Americas editor

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida. He has reported on Latin America for almost 30 years - for Newsweek as its Mexico City bureau chief from 1990 to 1996, and for Time as its Latin America bureau chief in Mexico and Miami (where he also covered Florida and the U.S. Southeast) from 1996 to 2013.

Padgett has interviewed more than 20 heads of state, including former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and current Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and he was one of the few U.S. correspondents to sit down with the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. He has covered every major Latin American and Caribbean story from the end of the Central American civil wars of the 1980s to NAFTA and the Colombian guerrilla conflict of the 1990s; to the Brazilian boom, the Venezuelan revolution and Mexican drug war carnage of the 2000s; to the current normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations.

In 2005, Padgett received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize, the oldest international award in journalism, for his body of work from the region. In 2016 he won a national Edward R. Murrow award for Best Radio Series for "The Migration Maze," about the brutal causes of - and potential solutions to - Central American migration. His 1993 Newsweek cover, “Cocaine Comes Home,” won the Inter-American Press Association’s drug coverage award.

Padgett is an Indiana native and a graduate of Wabash College. He received a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School before studying in Caracas, Venezuela, at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. He started his career at the Chicago Sun-Times, where he led the paper's coverage of the 1986 immigration reform. Padgett has also written for publications such as The New Republic and America and has been a frequent analyst on CNN, Fox and NPR, as well as Spanish-language networks such as Univision.

Padgett has been an adult literacy volunteer and is a member of the Catholic anti-poverty organization St. Vincent de Paul. He currently lives in Miami with his wife and two children. 

Ways to Connect

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Oil-rich Venezuela has the world’s cheapest gasoline. But it’s also dealing with the world’s worst economic crisis. So desperately cash-strapped Venezuelans are about to pay a lot more at the pump.

Natacha Pisarenko / AP via Miami Herald

Last week, the new President of Colombia, Iván Duque, swore in his vice president, Marta Lucía Ramírez.

She is Colombia’s first female vice president.

Venezolana de Television via AP

COMMENTARY

It’s tempting to call last weekend’s failed drone attack on Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro daring.

Unfortunately, the only thing you can ultimately call it is dumb – because assassination attempts are only going to make Maduro dig in, not give in.

When Maduro claimed last Saturday he’d been the target of exploding drones, the world was rightly skeptical. He and his socialist regime are shamelessly notorious for concocting assassination conspiracies to divert attention from their disastrous and dictatorial rule.

Abel Padron / ACN via AP

In recent weeks Cuba’s communist government has been rolling out a revision to the island’s 1976 Constitution. The regime is now making an unusual outreach for feedback – across the Florida Straits.

University of Miami

Scholarship on Cuba at the University of Miami has been the subject of controversy lately. But at least one part of UM’s Cuban studies is getting a fresh start on Monday.

Fernando Vergara / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Some thought it stunning last week when former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe announced he was resigning his Senate seat to defend himself in a criminal investigation.

But actually it was very fitting.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

Last week we learned that Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro may be under investigation in the U.S. for money-laundering. But it turns out Maduro has more immediate problems – like keeping his country’s lights on.

Fernando Llano / AP via Miami Herald

When the year started, we were astounded to hear Venezuela’s 2018 inflation rate could top 13,000 percent. That’s pretty bad hyperinflation. But Venezuelans now look at that forecast as the good news.

Peter Haden / WLRN.org

Florida Congresswoman Lois Frankel recently toured the U.S. southern border, talking to undocumented parents and children separated by President Trump’s zero-tolerance immigration policy.

During a forum this month at the Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Frankel, a Democrat from West Palm Beach, heard how that border policy has begun to touch the Florida peninsula. Frankel interviewed a woman from Guatemala whose cousin was one of the migrants stopped at the border this year and separated from her child – a 10-year-old boy.

Anthony Vasquez / AP via Miami Herald

COMMENTARY

Nine years ago this summer, leftist Mexican politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador called on his country to censure another country.

That other country was Honduras. Right-wing politicians there, backed by a right-wing oligarchy and military, had just staged a coup that ousted leftist President Manuel Zelaya – who was flown into exile in his pajamas.

Fernando Vergara / AP

By the end of this year, an estimated 3 million Venezuelans will have left their country – and the humanitarian crisis there – since 2015. The U.S. government just made another contribution to help those Venezuelans get settled in other countries.

Tim Padgett / WLRN.org

This month the big topic of discussion about Venezuela isn’t focused on its plummeting oil output or food shortages or economic collapse. It’s about invasion.

According to reports, last year President Trump told top aides he wanted to order a military invasion of Venezuela.

Those aides talked him out of it, of course. But the reports have Venezuelans like 19-year-old Camila Duarte feeling confused – and irritated.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

COMMENTARY

Right now The Beautiful Game doesn’t look so pretty on this side of the pond.

When Belgium knocked Brazil out of the World Cup in Russia last Friday, it meant no team from the Western Hemisphere would make it to the tournament’s semi-finals for the first time since 2006. Soccer pundits immediately began waxing about the seemingly waning role of the Americas on the global fútbol stage.

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