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Tim Padgett

Tim Padgett is the Americas editor for Miami NPR affiliate WLRN, covering Latin America, the Caribbean and their key relationship with South Florida.

Padgett has reported on Latin America for more than 30 years - including for Newsweek as its Mexico City bureau chief and for Time as its Latin America and Miami bureau chief - from the end of Central America's civil wars to the current normalization of U.S.-Cuba relations. He has interviewed more than 20 heads of state.

In 2005, Padgett received Columbia University’s Maria Moors Cabot Prize for his body of work in Latin America. In 2016 he won a national Edward R. Murrow award for the radio series "The Migration Maze," about the brutal causes of - and potential solutions to - Central American migration.

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 and studied  in Caracas, Venezuela, at the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. He has been an adult literacy volunteer and is a member of the Catholic poverty aid organization St. Vincent de Paul.

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MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

El Salvador this week officially became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. Tim Padgett of member station WLRN in Miami reports.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

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When Cuban bikini maker Victor Rodríguez visited Miami this month, he was on a pilgrimage — not just for bathing suits but for bandwidth.

The most important stop on Rodríguez's schedule was lunch in Wynwood, Miami's high-tech district, with Mel Valenzuela, who owns the online swimwear store Pretty Beachy.

As Valenzuela showed Rodríguez how to do business online, his awestruck expression seemed to evoke José Arcadio Buendía in One Hundred Years of Solitude, who when he first touches ice declares it "the great invention of our time."

Leopoldo López is a rock star to Venezuelans living in the United States. But in west Caracas he's the rich guy. And those contrasting images could affect the outcome of street protests playing out in Venezuela right now.

But first the obvious: This week's arrest of López, a top Venezuela opposition leader, is a reminder that President Nicolás Maduro's credibility is plummeting during the anti-government demonstrations that have swept his country since Feb. 12.

I bought Francisco Lima his first taste of freedom in decades.

A cheeseburger.

It was 2004, and Brazil was starting to confront one of its most distressing problems: slavery. I was in northern Pará state, in the Amazon, observing a special police unit that raided slaveholding farms and firms and liberated workers like the 74-year-old Lima.