Florida to Obama: Don't give us a Cuban consulate

Miami-Dade County in Florida has the largest Cuban-American population in the US (AFP Photo/Joe Raedle)
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Miami (AFP) - South Florida, long the unofficial US capital of Cuban anti-Communist exiles, has a request now that relations with the regime on the island are thawing: no Cuban consulate in our backyard.

Miami-Dade County on Wednesday approved a resolution urging President Barack Obama "to refrain from establishing a Cuban consulate" in the area.

The county has the largest Cuban-American population in the US, but many of them came to the area "fleeing oppression and injustice at the hands of the Cuban government," the resolution said.

A Cuban consulate in Miami-Dade county "could inflame passions and create security risks," the resolution says.

Commissioner Esteban Bovo, son of a veteran of the failed anti-Castro 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, introduced the symbolic resolution.

However, it is up to the federal government to determine where foreign legations are placed.

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, who was born in Cuba and whose father was a political prisoner on the island, also opposes a Cuban consulate.

"I'm going to go to federal court if the State Department grants a license to Cuba to establish a consulate here," he told the Miami Herald newspaper. He fears a consulate would be a magnet for protests.

Cuba and the United States in late 2014 began a rapprochement after a half-century of rivalry, and in July 2015 formally reestablished diplomatic ties.

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