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Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine would welcome the Cuban consulate


Gustavo Machín, deputy director of North American affairs (left) meets with Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine, right, at the Cuban Foreign Relations Ministry on Wednesday.

Miami refuses to welcome a Cuban consulate into its city because its mayor calls it a political flashpoint and a security risk. Cuba and the U.S. hesitate to open one in Tampa because it’s too far away from most people who would need consular services.

A possible solution to the diplomatic stalemate: Bring the consulate to Miami Beach.

Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine and Commissioner Ricky Arriola told the Cuban government in a private meeting Wednesday in Havana that, unlike their Miami counterparts, they’d welcome Cuban diplomats in their city.

“It belongs in Miami-Dade County,” Arriola told the Miami Herald. “It needs to go where they’re going to serve the greatest number of its people. Miami-Dade has by far the greatest number of Cubans in the country. The demand is going to be very high.”

Keep reading Patricia Mazzei's story here.