Breaking news out of Cuba: Fidel Castro is still dead. 

Despite conflicting reports, the A.P. confirms that maximum leader Fidel Castro is still dead, although he is feeling better and better each day. The news, which is still developing, has been confirmed by several independent sources who report that they have spoken to Fidel Castro since his death and can confirm that he is, in fact, still dead. 

The Plantain has not been able to reach Castro for a statement on his death on account of his death. More as this story develops. 

Governor Ron DeSantis signed legislation this morning to consider relocating Florida’s capital from Tallahassee to President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago resort in West Palm Beach. The move is being hailed by Republican lawmakers as an innovative new revenue stream for Trump to exploit and has even found support among Democrats who would very much never like to go to Tallahassee again.

“While I strongly oppose giving more tax dollars to Trump’s resort, it would be nice not to spend so much time in Tallahassee which is really just about the worst place in the world,” said Democratic Senator Annette Taddeo, adding “You can’t get a decent meal in that entire place and everything closes at 6:00 PM.”

But not everyone is happy about relocating the capital. John McKintlock, the lone TSA agent at Tallahassee International Airport who said he will miss all of the lawmaker and lobbyist friends who he sees fly into the airport. The Plantain spoke to Matt D’Amore, a big sugar lobbyist who has seen John at least twice a week over the last 10 years about not being able to see his friend at the TIA anymore.

“Who? I’m just happy I don’t have to fly up to that shithole again. Mar-A-Lago has a great golf course,” he answered.

As you know, for nearly 35 years the Plantain has worked very hard to bring you honest, up-to-date news about life in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, and Duluth. We used to also serve the community of Vero Beach but stopped in 2008 after an incident that I think needs no further explanation or commentary. It is with this long history in mind and with great sadness in my heart that I inform you that the Plantain’s annual coverage of the South Beach Food and Wine Festival has been canceled because it now costs $60 to park on the Beach and $125 to eat some watery ceviche from a plastic cup while Guy Fieri stands around awkwardly waiting to be recognized.

And it’s not that we at the Plantain don’t like to spend money on things that are fun. I recently bought some insulin and am very much considering paying rent eventually. But for the promoters to hawk some undercooked fancy-ass burgers with truffle bullshit on it for $250 when I can literally buy the most delicious cheeseburger in the world for like $6 at 5 Guys is unconscionable. Plus, at 5 Guys I rarely have to witness Guy Fieri, a man who looks like what would result if Fred Durst and a Mango had a baby that went to college at a Jimmy Buffet concert, whisper fight with his wife in a corner while fans wait for autographs. “Don’t do this right now!” he sternly shouts before wrapping his arm around an old man who thinks he is Smash Mouth.

The Plantain reached out to the Festivals promoters and asked them for complimentary tickets and a parking pass, but was told that the Plantain was not welcome because we are “fake news.” While that is technically true, it is still very hurtful.

So in conclusion and in summation, the Plantain will not be able to report on the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, or the staggering amount of times Guy Fieri awkwardly throws his hands behind his back in an attempt to catch the Oakleys he has on backward from falling to the sand.  

Suck it, haters! The Plantain has been ACQUIRED by mother-fuckin McClatchy and will be joining the Miami Herald family!

When we started the Plantain in 2016 we had the goal of making lots of money by providing Miamians with daily reminders that Joe Carollo beat his wife in front of his daughter. We were unsure whether that was a sustainable business model and for a while were worried we would never turn a profit. We never did turn a profit, but that doesn’t matter now because WE HAVE BEEN ACQUIRED!

On March 1st The Plantain will be turned over to McClatchy and I will be getting $3,000,000 in highly valuable McClatchy stock! How do you like them apples, The New Tropic?

So long suckers!

Milo

UPDATE: I’ve just been informed that McClatchy has filed for bankruptcy and that I will remain poor for the time being. Sorry for telling all of you haters to suck it and my sincere apologies to my friends at The New Tropic.

The Miami Dade Expressway Authority (MDX) announced today that it has plans to create a bumpered “texting lane” along the Dolphin Expressway.

“This is a necessary step we must take as a community to ensure public safety,” said MDX spokeswoman Anne Hinga, noting that educational campaigns about the dangers of texting while driving has failed to curb the ubiquitous behavior.

“Our roads are filled with millennials raised in front of a cellphone screen. We cannot realistically expect these young drivers not to text and drive,” said Ms. Hinga. “The bumpered texting lane is our attempt to mitigate the dangers of texting while driving and is a plan that we believe will save thousands of lives.”

MDX says it has entered into a memorandum of understanding with a national road consultant to draft plans for installing bumpers along each side of the middle lane of the Dolphin, an improvement expected to cost the County upwards of $75 million dollars. The Authority says it has already started to assess the viability of installing additional texting lanes on other County thoroughfares.

Sixteen-year-old Gulliver student Kelsey Gutierrez said she supported the new lane, admitting that she has already been in eight minor traffic accidents caused by phone-related inattentiveness since receiving her S-Class Mercedes at her Sweet-Sixteen party last February. The young driver noted, however, that “only old people text” and questioned whether the lanes could also be used for drivers “sending snaps” or “Instagramming cute traffic pics.” She also noted that she was “not a Millennial”, who are at this point pushing 40.

The Plantain reached out to the Miami-Dade Police Department to ask whether the texting lanes would also be available to drivers who were making Snapchat videos, Instagramming, or watching Youtube. A local law enforcement officer who asked to remain anonymous advised the Plantain that highway officers will have quite a lot of discretion about who can or cannot use the new lanes and noted that individual decisions will likely come down to officer’s mood and the driver’s race.

A new report finds that roughly 11 1/3 out of every 21 Cubans identify as White. The result comes from a Pew Research report released Friday that compared White identifying voters with their Country of origin. It found that 54% of Cubans living in Miami-Dade think they are White. Researchers believe this explains why Cuban voters were about twice as likely as non-Cuban Latinos to vote for Donald Trump

The Plantain hit the streets to ask local Cuban-Americans who are definitely either Hispanic or Latino but for sure non-White whether or not they think they are White. The results were mildly shocking.

We spoke with 72-year-old Fulgencio Suarez, a Cuban refugee that escaped in the early sixties who says he cast his ballot for Donald Trump. “I see in Donald Trump a white man just like myself,” said Mr. Suarez as he wildly gesticulated with an unlit Cigar in his hand, pausing only to harass a woman walking by who was 50-years his junior. “Oy! Si cocinas como caminas, me como hasta la raspita.”

When confronted with the fact that he is, in fact, a Latino immigrant, Mr. Suarez agreed: “Yes, I am a Latino immigrant, of course, I am from Cuba.”

“But you identify as White?”

“Yes. Of Course! We assimilated into this country as melting pot,” he said, causing this reporter—himself an assimilated Cuban-American to wonder whether assimilation means becoming white and, if it does, whether cultural assimilation is a mere euphemism for the annihilation of cultural traditions by a domineering and repressive majority.

We wondered, so we asked Ricardo Trujillo a White identifying Cuban immigrant who came to the United States on the Mariel Boatlift when he was 19 and now owns several Hialeah luggage stores whether he was proud of his Cuban heritage.

“I am very proud to be a Cuban-American,” said Mr. Trujillo. “I am the American dream. When I came to this country I had nothing, now I have my own business. Just like El Donald. If you work hard in this country you can accomplish anything.”

When asked whether identifying as white helped him achieve success, Mr. Truijillo was adamant that his being white had absolutely nothing to do with his success — an admittedly very white thing to say. We reminded him that his whiteness could not have been an actual contributing factor to his success because he is empirically “not White”, but he seemed confused by the logic and then offered to sell us a rollerbag for $7.99, which we agreed to purchase because that is an undeniably good deal.

Still puzzled, we reached out Arturo Jimenez, a Cuban-American professor and poet at the University of Miami who also identifies as White.

“All of these labels: White, Black, Oriental. We are all of one race: The human race. We should not continue to divide ourselves by race.”

“Then why do you identify as White?” we asked. “Would you say that your experience is one of a White man?”

Professor Jimenez sat in silence for a moment and chuckled: “Well yes, while I am in Miami I experience all of the privileges and none of the bigotry that comes from my heritage. So, in Miami, I guess I am White.”

When asked what ethnicity he would identify as outside of Miami, he said “obviously Hispanic, non-white Latino”, adding that outside of Miami all Hispanics and Latinos are assumed to be Mexicans, which he said “is great if you’re from Puerto Rico but a racist insult if you’re a Cuban.”

“But if that’s the case,” we asked, “why would so many Cubans support Donald Trump when his policies are decidedly anti-Mexican?” to which the Professor said “because Cubans aren’t Mexicans and we don’t support Communist Democrats like Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders,” adding that “the choice is easy.”  

By Peter Mir of Villain Theater

Super Bowl LIV is on Sunday and thousands of visitors from all over the country are arriving in Miami to find out that the stadium is more than an hour away from their hotel.

“Where the hell is Miami Gardens?” asked Abigail Alan after learning it would take her at least an hour and forty-five minutes to get to Hard Rock Stadium with traffic. “Are you kidding me? Why would the NFL host an event where the closest luxury accommodations are more than an hour away?” she asked before inquiring as to whether there was a subway she could take to the stadium.

“There aren’t any direct mass transit options, but if you want you could easily get to the stadium by taking three busses and walking half-a-mile,” said the concierge. “It will only take three and a half hours. Just make sure that you leave the game early enough to get back to your hotel by midnight since the busses don’t run all night.”

The Plantain asked the City of Miami’s Super Bowl committee about whether they felt the type of issue Abigail and similarly situated human traffickers are facing highlights Miami’s infrastructural deficiencies, but they were too busy trying to get a photo with Ray Lewis to answer.

“If Joe Carollo does it then it’s in the public interest and he can’t be removed from office,” said City of Miami Commissioner Joe Carollo from behind the bushes of the Ball & Chain night club in Little Havana. The argument makes up the Commissioner’s prime defense against a challenge mounted by “socialists” and “uh, did I say socialists?” to remove him from office for being insane and terrible and obstructionist.”

In a brief interview with the Plantain, Commissioner Carollo said that he isn’t worried about being removed from office: “I’m going to beat the shit out of those socialists and their agenda to remove me!” he said. We asked if his threat of violence should be taken literally or was just the type of rantings typical of elderly men upset that their grip on the world and reality is lessening with each passing day.

After a moment of deep self-reflection, Carollo admitted that he would beat the charges politically, and not with violence. “I only beat women,” he said before asking if I was a socialist and threatening to sick code enforcement on me if I didn’t take this article down.

Chinese developer Hank Greenbaum (汉克·格林鲍姆) announced plans to develop the world’s tallest building in Miami on U.S. 1 right next to the Taco Rico. The 195-floor building will replace the property’s current occupant, a vape shop.

“We searched all over the world for a place to build a building of this size and knew we had found the right spot when we saw this narrow area of land alongside already congested U.S. 1.,” said Mr. Greenbaum. “Nothing screams ‘this is the perfect location for a giant building’ like the lack of a setback,'” he said, adding that the already existing nearby Starbucks and taco stand sealed the deal. “I love tacos and building skyscrapers, what can I say?” said Mr. Greenbaum.

The Plantain asked the developer how his building would impact traffic along the already congested highway, to which he told us to “fuck off.” He had the same answer when asked about whether there would be public financing for the building.

Construction will begin on “Gimenez Tower” in the summer. When asked how they decided on the name, Mr. Greenbaum said it was to honor his friend Mayor Carlos Gimenez who promised to push this terrible idea through in exchange for hiring his son as a lobbyist and giving a campaign contribution to his Congressional bid. “We need more men like that in Washington,” said Mr. Greenbaum before leaving to catch his plane back to Hong Kong.

Miami-Dade government suspended all governmental operations this morning and announced it would do so until the weather reached at least 70 degrees. “It’s just too damn cold to do anything,” said Mayor Carlos Gimenez from underneath three blankets in his bed while The View played in the background. The Mayor says once the Government reopens he plans to enact legislation that would prepare the County for future cold weather fronts by providing educational services to the community to teach people how to dress for the weather and how to use their home’s heater. 

Residents around South Florida are reacting to the cold weather change by shivering uncontrollably. Except Dave, who insists he isn’t cold and even wore shorts to work today to prove the point. “It isn’t so bad. I don’t know what people are complaining about,” said Dave as he brought a cup of iced coffee to his blue lips.