Consular Corner: Spain

By Don Slesnick

Winter 2020

The Consular Corps of Miami is comprised of various diplomatic representatives from foreign nations assigned to South Florida to care for the citizens of their home countries who visit, work, or live in our community and region. There are 26 with offices in Coral Gables; others with offices in Miami also live in the Gables.

These Consul Generals and Honorary Consuls play an important role in the international scene in Coral Gables, where they not only serve their citizens, but also the home-based companies that do business and/or keep offices here.

In this series of interviews, we will introduce our readers to Consul Generals whose Consulates and/or residences are located in the City Beautiful. Our first guest is Cándido Creis Estrada, Consul General of Spain (pictured above, middle)

When Did You Arrive Here?

I came to Miami in 2015 after serving as the Head of Protocol in the Royal Household of His Majesty the King. Prior to that I was posted with the Spanish Permanent Delegation to the EU in Brussels.

What is Your Job Here?

My duties are to assist Spanish citizens in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Our Consulate also helps foster bilateral trade and investment, educational projects and cultural activities. We are co-located with representatives of Spain’s Trade Commission, Education Office, Tourism Office and the Spanish Cultural Center.

How Long Has the Spanish Consulate Been in Coral Gables?

I am proud to say that the Consulate of Spain and the Consul General’s residence have both been in Coral Gables since the 1970s – coincidentally located on streets named after two important cities in Spain, “Valencia Avenue” and “Granada Boulevard.”

What Are Your Personal Goals Here?

To find ways to highlight the common heritage between Spain and Florida, including the founding of St. Augustine in 1565 and the 18th Century Mission San Luis in Tallahassee. In fact, I serve on the board of directors of the Florida Secretary of State’s Friends of Florida History.

What Do You Love About Coral Gables?

One wonderful feature is the fine dining. We especially enjoy restaurants featuring dishes from our native Spain, such as the Mediterranean fish dishes at La Dorada, the tapas at Bulla Gastrobar, and the amazing jamon at Bellmónt. And no weekend evening would be complete without a visit to La Taberna Giralda for wine and Flamenco music.

This interview was conducted by Don Slesnick, Honorary Consul of Australia and former Mayor of Coral Gables.

The Spanish Corporate Presence

Spain is one of Florida’s top trade partners and leading sources of direct foreign investment. In Coral Gables, they are fairly dominant: More than one third of the international firms with headquarters here are from Spain. Here is a sampling of companies.

Adolfo Dominguez USA LLC – Men’s Clothing
Dragados USA Inc – Construction Services
Air Europa Lineas Aereas SA, Inc – Passenger Airline Services Aletea Advisors, Inc. – Legal Services
Matachana USA Corp – Chemical Industry Equipment
USA Voip LLC (Avanzada 7 Sl) –Telecom Equipment
Biologia Y Nutricion 2, S.A. – Pet Food
SicaSoft Solution LLC – Environmental Services
Delaviuda USA, Inc. – Candy Manufacturing
Humiclima USA, Inc. – Industrial Engineering
Intermas Nets USA, Inc. – Electronic Components, Plastic Mfg. Kettal North America, Inc. – Home Furnishigs
Marketinnova Group LLC – Marketing And Pr
Miriam Quevedo, Inc. – Cosmetics
Pescanova, Inc. – Frozen Fish Importers

Spanish Trade

Port of Miami – 2018
Total Trade: $414.6 million, a 40 percent increase since 2017; Exports: $78 million; Imports: $336.5 million

Miami International Airport – 2018 Total Trade: $873.3 million; Exports: $153.8 million; Imports: $719.5 million; Top Import: Medicine, at $534 million, up 164 percent since 2017

Source: World City