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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Mitt Romney to give Cuba, Latin America policy speech at Miami's Freedom Tower



In the shadow of Miami's Freedom Tower comemorating Cuban exiles, Mitt Romney is scheduled to lay out his Cuba and Latin American policy plans Wednesday.

The speech underscores how important the Cuban vote is in the Republican primary, where more than 70 percent of Miami-Dade's Republican electorate is Hispanic. And with all political eyes soon to be on Florida, expect exile politics to get more play. Romney is likely also to take shots at Hugo Chavez, who's starting to rival Fidel Castro as a boogeyman in American foreign policy.

The speech, planned for weeks, takes place about the same time as Univision's planned candidate forum that both Romney and Newt Gingrich are skipping due to scheduling conflicts, their campaigns say. But the specter of the Spanish-language network's tussle with Sen. Marco Rubio also looms large.

Romney is scheduled to be in Ormond Beach Sunday, Tampa on Monday for the debate and Miami Wednesday. He's also scheduled to give another policy speech Tuesday, but his campaign is so far mum on the topic.

Gingrich is slated to go to Monday's Tampa debate and then head to St. Petersburg, Sarasota, Naples, Palm Beach and, possibly, Miami on Wednesday.

No schedules yet from Ron Paul or Rick Santorum.

Read more here:

-- Marc Caputo

[Last modified: Saturday, January 21, 2012 7:32pm]


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