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Al Fox

Kathy Castor vows Cuba-Tampa Bay engagement will continue, despite Donald Trump’s rollback

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President Donald Trump told a crowd in Miami Friday he was keeping a campaign promise to roll back the “terrible and misleading deal” the Obama administration made with the Castro government in Cuba in 2014. Two hours later, U.S. Representative Kathy Castor told reporters that the work of engaging the Tampa Bay area and the communist island will continue. “I think President Trump’s new policy is regrettable and it takes us backward, because what it will do will really complicate our neighbor’s ability to…

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Al Fox celebrated for his work on Cuba

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There is perhaps no greater moment reflective of how far the Tampa business and political establishment has come in terms of embracing relations with Cuba than the reaction to then Mayor Dick Greco’s surprise visit to the communist island in the summer of 2002. “In my opinion, it was his finest hour,” recalled Al Fox, speaking on Friday night at the Columbia Restaurant in Ybor City. It was Fox, through his Alliance for Responsible Cuba Policy Foundation, that helped negotiate the historic meeting…

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Mitch Perry Report for 11.28.16 -While USF football soars, attendance doesn’t

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For the first time time since September of 2011, the University of South Florida’s football program is ranked in the Associated Press Top 25. This comes after the Bulls defeated cross I-4 rival UCF at Raymond James Stadium. They’re tied at 24, and have finished their regular season at 10-2, their most impressive record since beginning their program 20 years ago. It’s good times on Fowler Avenue, particularly for those folks who have hopes of building a new stadium on…

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In Tampa, agreement that Fidel Castro was one of a kind

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There was no harsher a critic of the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba than Ralph Fernandez. Yet the Tampa attorney who represented several former political prisoners in Cuba over the past several decades says that nobody ever challenged the U.S. government as the longtime Cuban leader, who died Friday at the age of 90. “The guy stood up to America like no one could. He represented a shrimp of a country, just a dot on the map, and he was just in our face,…

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Al Fox and Ralph Fernandez engage in ‘great debate’ over U.S. Cuba relations in Ybor City

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It was billed as “The Great Debate” with two of the most prominent Tampa residents on the issue of Cuba, Al Fox and Ralph Fernandez, duking it out on whether the United States should end the 54-year-old economic embargo against the Castro-led government. Hundreds jammed into the historic Centro Asturiano building in Ybor City for a 90-minute forum hosted by the Tampa Tiger Bay Club on Monday night, and judging by the laughs alone, were thoroughly entertained by these two passionate advocates when it comes to…

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Debate on normalizing relations with Cuba slated in Tampa tonight

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While the breakthrough in U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba has been met with restraint in Miami, most lawmakers and business leaders in Tampa have embraced the new rules relaxing restrictions on trade and travel with the Communist island that began at the beginning of this year. And while overall more Cuban Americans in the Tampa Bay area appear eager for the 54-year-old economic sanctions to end soon, it’s hardly a universal sentiment. Being billed somewhat hyperbolically as “10 years in the making,” The…

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‘Biking while black’ in Tampa story not going away

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The uproar over a Tampa Bay Times report over the weekend that the Tampa Police Department has been targeting low-income black bicyclists over the past decade continues to reverberate, with Chief Jane Castor facing the strongest criticism in her nearly five-year tenure, just weeks before she steps down after a distinguished 30-year career with the department. The story detailed how eight out of 10 bike riders stopped in Tampa from 2003 to 2015 were black, meaning they received 79 percent of the…

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