Miami, Florida, has long been considered a Western hemispheric hub; Pan-American Airways, for example, began advertising the city as the "Gateway to the Americas" in the early 1930s. By mid-20th century, some 600,000 people traveling to and from Latin America passed through Miami each year, encouraging the city's Chamber of Commerce to organize a series of inter-American business meetings during the 1950s. The Chamber also waged a battle at that time to abolish a federal tax levied on travelers to the Caribbean and Central America. Thereafter, several decades of political turmoil in the region figuratively and literally latinized Miami, most visibly through entry of a half million Cubans. In the mid-1990s, thirty-four nations meeting in the city at the Summit of the Americas, proposed a plan to realize a hemispheric free trade area. In 2003 the heads of government and ministers of state of those same countries returned to finalize a draft of that agreement. A year later, two quite different events offered evidence of the city's international stature. First, FedEx unveiled a new Miami facility called the Gateway Hub designed to significantly boost the company's activity in Latin America and the Caribbean. Secondly, Miami hosted the 2004 MTV music awards show at which Jennifer Lopez declared the city the party capital of the United States and proclaimed it "the steamiest, sexiest city in the world."
Society, Florida Historical
"Before Disney Arrived: Florida's Ill-Fated Attempt to Build INTERAMA,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 86:
4, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol86/iss4/4