FL-27: Maria Elvira Salazar (R)
Maria Elvira Salazar was born in Miami’s Little Havana to Cuban parents. While being raised in Miami and Puerto Rico, Salazar listened as her parents told stories of the oppressive communist regime from which they escaped. Becoming American citizens at the Freedom Tower, Salazar’s parents wanted a better life for their family.
That pursuit of the American Dream shaped Salazar’s early life and career, and it continues to drive her today. Salazar graduated from the University of Miami and later from Harvard University which she paid for herself. She began a career in journalism covering local stories for Univision.
A rising star in the field of journalism, Salazar’s career took her all over the world. She became the anchor for CNN Español, the first time a major news network had a broadcast fully in Spanish. Salazar then covered the White House and the Gulf War. It was in her next assignment where Salazar witnessed firsthand the price for freedom.
Working again for Univision, Salazar covered the Salvadoran Civil War. She was embedded on the frontlines. She saw the crossfire from the opposing factions. She felt the fear of war. Though at times Salazar came under circumstances where her own life was in danger, she left El Salvador after the war and used the contacts made there to begin reporting in Cuba.
Through her reporting, she became a leading voice against Fidel Castro, pointing out the actions of the government and its devastating effects on the people of Cuba. Eventually, Salazar became too vocal for the likes of Castro and the Cuban government.
It was her persistence and passion to uncover the truth in defense of freedom that led to the interview of a lifetime. After years in pursuit and a direct confrontation with him in New York, Salazar was granted an interview with Fidel Castro.
In her career Salazar has interviewed a wide range of social and political leaders, including Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Alvaro Uribe, Jose Maria Aznar, Vicente Fox, Juan Manuel Santos, Augusto Pinochet, Nicolas Maduro and, more recently, Juan Guaidó.
Salazar resides in Miami with her two college-aged daughters and her husband.
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