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Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald

Patricia Mazzei

Patricia Mazzei is the political writer for the Miami Herald. She joined the newspaper in 2007 after graduating from the University of Miami. Her previous beats include congressional and state legislative politics, Miami-Dade County Hall, Miami City Hall and Broward County public schools. Born and raised in Venezuela, she is fluent in Spanish.

Phone: (305) 376‑3350

E-mail: pmazzei@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @PatriciaMazzei

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  1. 'Days were lost': Why Puerto Rico is still suffering a month after Hurricane Maria

    Hurricanes

    MAUNABO, PUERTO RICO — Before Hurricane Maria tore through the rest of this island, it came to Mayor Jorge Márquez's home.

    The storm ripped through improvised plastic shutters, shook the windows and sent his panicked family, including his grandchildren, scurrying to a bathroom to hide. For four hours, as the fiercest of Maria's winds roared through his mountain town in southeast Puerto Rico, Márquez kept the wind from forcing itself in by pushing a dining table hard against the front door....

    A man wades through a flooded road, past a boat, in the Toa Ville community two days after the impact of Hurricane Maria in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, Friday, Sept. 22, 2017. Because of flooding, thousands of people are being evacuated from Toa Baja after the municipal government opened the gates of the Rio La Plata Dam. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti) CGPR130
  2. What Hurricane Maria taught me about the people of Puerto Rico

    Hurricanes

    SAN JUAN — After Hurricane Maria took their roof, water and electricity — but spared their chickens — Ana De Jesús and Santiago Quiñones packed a few basics and moved across the street into their windowless beachside kiosk.

    The ocean breeze fluttered in through the pink walls. They powered a generator only in the late afternoon and overnight to keep cold the kiosk's surviving treasure: a three-day supply of beer....

    A Lo?za woman greeted journalists who arrived at her flooded street Friday, two days after Hurricane Maria drenched the beach town with rain.? [CARL JUSTE?| Miami Herald]
  3. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane demolishes Puerto Rico

    News

    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric grid that cut power to every one of the island's 3.4 million people.

    Even though authorities had barely begun to assess the damage Wednesday evening, the scope of the catastrophe was evident, even if in snippets....

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  4. Hurricane Irma evacuations begin in Miami: 'This storm is bigger, faster and stronger than Andrew'

    Hurricanes

    MIAMI — Mandatory evacuations of vast swaths of coastal South Florida began Wednesday as anxious residents continued to watch and wait — and watch, and wait — for the massive storm to roll closer.

    "This storm is bigger, faster and stronger than Hurricane Andrew," cautioned Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who made Wednesday stops in Marathon, Doral and Naples to warn of potential widespread devastation....

    Motorists head north of Key Largo on US 1, in anticipation of Hurricane Irma, Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017.  Keys officials announced a mandatory evacuation Wednesday for visitors, with residents being told to leave the next day. [Associated Press]
  5. Gov. Scott on DACA: 'These kids must be allowed to pursue the American Dream'

    State Roundup

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged President Donald Trump on Friday not to summarily end an Obama-era program that protects immigrants brought into the country illegally as children from deportation.

    Amid rampant speculation that Trump on Tuesday will stop the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Scott said in a statement that DACA recipients should be given a reprieve.

    "I do not favor punishing children for the actions of their parents," Scott said. "These kids must be allowed to pursue the American Dream, and Congress must act on this immediately."...

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott [Associated Press]
  6. Appointed to U.N. post, Trujillo won't resign from Florida Legislature

    Blog

    Miami Rep. Carlos Trujillo said Sunday he won't resign his seat in the Florida Legislature if the U.S. Senate confirms him to a post in the Trump administration.

    On Friday, the White House nominated Trujillo, a Republican, to be a United Nations representative under Ambassador Nikki Haley. ...

    Trujillo and Trump
  7. Trump appoints Carlos Trujillo to U.N. post

    Blog

    Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Trujillo has been tapped to serve in the United Nations, the White House announced Friday.

    President Donald Trump intends to nominate Trujillo to the role of representative to the UN general assembly. The position would make the powerful Florida House budget chief one of UN Ambassador Nikki Haley’s four deputies.

    Trujillo, an attorney, would take Haley’s place in meetings and assemblies when she’s unavailable. He would also get the title of “ambassador.”...

    Then-candidate Donald Trump received a classic linen guayabera last September from Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Trujillo.
  8. Former presidential candidate Martin O'Malley to attend Taddeo fundraiser

    Blog

    An unexpected guest is headlining an upcoming fundraiser for Miami Democratic Senate candidate Annette Taddeo: one-time 2016 presidential candidate Martin O'Malley.

    O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, will join other Taddeo supporters Tuesday at the posh Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Taddeo is running in a special Sept. 26 Senate Districit 40 election against Republican Rep. Jose Felix Diaz....

    Taddeo's invite
  9. Pence in Miami hints at economic sanctions for Venezuela

    Blog

    Vice President Mike Pence hinted Wednesday at soon-to-come economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government, but he offered little in the way of specifics of what a more robust U.S. response might look like or when it might come, choosing instead to deliver a broader message of hope to increasingly despondent Venezuelans.

    Pence indicated the Trump administration intends to further punish Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro and his loyalists for undermining the South American country’s democracy. Economic sanctions, perhaps aimed at restricting trade in Venezuelan debt in dollars, could come as early as this week, the Miami Herald has learned. But Pence did not detail any potential penalties....

    Venezuelan exile Maria Eugenia Tovar holds a photo of her daughter, who was killed in 2014, and talks about her loss as Vice President Mike Pence, right, listens through the help of a translator. Vice President Pence held a roundtable with many Venezuelan exiles - former candidates and officials prior to giving his remarks on the Venezuelan crisis at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Doral on Wednesday.
  10. Rubio to Seminole County GOP: 'America is going to be okay'

    Blog

    Sen. Marco Rubio delivered a reshaped stump speech Tuesday night to the Seminole County GOP, touching on many of the same points he made as a presidential candidate but adapting it to the tumultuous politics of the moment.

    "America is going to be OK," Rubio said. "America is going to be fine. In fact, America -- your America, my America, the America we're going to leave our children -- has a chance to be better than it's ever been. I believe our children have the opportunity to be the freest and most prosperous people that have ever walked the face of this earth."...

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  11. Pence will try to escape long shadow of Trump’s military talk on Venezuela today in Miami

    Blog

    The uncomfortable but inevitable question that dogged Vice President Mike Pence everywhere he went in Latin America last week will trail him to Miami on Wednesday: Is President Donald Trump really considering potential military action in Venezuela?

    Pence tried over and over again to say no — without actually uttering the word or outright contradicting Trump — during his recent swing through Colombia, Argentina, Chile and Panama, where regional allies publicly rebuked the notion of any U.S. intervention....

    Vice President Mike Pence will visit Miami’s Venezuelan enclave of Doral on Tuesday.
  12. Pence to visit Miami on Wednesday

    Blog

    Vice President Mike Pence will be in Miami on Wednesday.

    As part of his visit, Pence is scheduled to deliver remarks at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church in Doral, according to an invitation to the event.

    The invitation doesn’t say what topic or topics Pence might address. But his trip to Latin America last week involved a lot of discussion about what to do about the political crisis in Venezuela. Doral has so many Venezuelan immigrants it is known as Doralzuela....

    Pence
  13. Lt. Gov. Lopez-Cantera won't run for Congress

    Blog

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera has decided not to run for Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s seat in Congress, though he may seek another office in 2020.

    “We have decided that being a candidate in 2018 is not what’s best for our family,” Lopez-Cantera, who is married and has two young daughters, said in a statement.

    He pledged to remain involved in politics and suggested he could launch a future candidacy for an unnamed position. He’s considered a possible contender to become Miami-Dade County’s next mayor....

    Florida Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
  14. Venezuelan lawmaker tied to Rubio death threat: ‘We don’t care about you’

    Blog

    The powerful Venezuelan lawmaker tied to a potential death order against U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio dismissed the notion late Wednesday that he has a personal interest in getting the Florida Republican killed.

    “The things we’ve said here about Narco Rubio are responses to his attacks,” Diosdado Cabello said, repeating his preferred slur against the senator. “But from my telling you that, to coming up with a plan to assassinate someone — you don’t know us. We always deal with things head on. We don’t use imperialism’s methods.”...

    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami.
  15. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

    From his news conference Saturday where he blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters to Tuesday's news conference where the president said "both sides" shared the blame, there's been much material for the Party of Lincoln to repudiate....

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at the White House on August 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. Two Virginia state police troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while covering events on the ground. [Getty Images]