Local 10 anchor Calvin Hughes is in Cuba to cover the visit of the Pope.
Hughes and his crew arrived in Cuba Thursday after a flight that he called, "grueling" and "arduous."
But, it's what Hughes said during Friday's live shot on the station's 11pm newscast that has some in Miami's broadcast news community buzzing.
As Hughes and co-anchor Jen Herrera wrapped up their live shot, he casually told viewers, "The mojitos are waiting for us somewhere and I'm ready to throw them back."
Apparently Hughes views Cuba in the same way some view South Beach: An island where everyone goes to get drunk...or to put it another way, Havana is nothing more than the southern branch of Mango's Tropical Cafe.
One South Florida TV veteran called me late Friday to tell me that Hughes' quip was "One of the most disgusting and disrespectful things I've ever heard anyone say on the air. He's in Cuba to cover an important story and all he's got on his mind is getting off the air and throwing back mojitos."
Another journalist emailed me this: "He apparently hasn't yet grasped the fact that he's in a country of 11 million that's been ruled by a Communist dictatorship for the past half century. And he's talking about getting drunk in a bar that's probably off-limits to Cuban citizens. What were they thinking when they hired this guy?"
This isn't the first time Hughes has shown he has little or no empathy for the people he covers. In a video posted on Local 10's website, Hughes says that covering the Haiti earthquake taught him "to appreciate air conditioning.