National Geographic : 1973 Jul
Four Cuban-run radio stations and one TV channel now broadcast full time in Spanish. Four theaters show only Latin films; others present films with Spanish subtitles. One daily newspaper, Diario Las Americas, has reached a circulation of 63,000. More than a score of other Spanish newspapers and magazines circulate through the community. Cubans run 17 private schools and about a dozen clinics. A Cuban-published phone book devotes the bulk of its 376 pages to Latin-American names and businesses in the Miami area. Cuban Rotary and Lions Clubs have been established, and a Latin Chamber of Commerce serves the Cuban business community. Cuban builders are involved in more than 40 percent of all new construction in Miami - including the brand-new, 40-story One Biscayne Tower, Miami's tallest skyscraper (following pages). Hotels-the area's life blood-are staffed more than 50 percent by Cubans. Skilled Cuban seamstresses have made the city's garment industry one of the top ten in the United States. Latins operate three of every five service stations in Miami. The exiles have brought new vigor and color to this sun-washed city of pale earth and chalky concrete. They have filled many streets with loud, staccato Spanish speech and insistent Latin rhythm. They have launched Miamians on new gastronomic ad ventures in scores of Cuban restaurants. But more important than any of these things, I suspect, they have prompted many to reexamine a few old values and principles. For several weeks recently I wandered about Miami talking to Cuban exiles- "Little Havana," Miami's Cuban enclave, sprawls across hundreds of blocks where scarcely a word of English can be heard amid lilting Spanish accents and Latin rhythms. Signs in some shop windows read "English spoken here." Makeshift marquee on West Flagler Street (left) lists a rainbow variety of ice cream flavors, most derived from popular Cuban fruits. Passersby (above) pause for a pick-me-up cafecito-a minicup of jet black coffee downed in two searing gulps.