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Emilio San Pedro

Emilio San Pedro in the studio

Emilio San Pedro has been the BBC World Service's Americas Editor for the last three years, and worked as a journalist for two decades, mostly in radio.

But his interest in and personal obsession with news - and in particular with the US and Latin America - go back to childhood. How typically Freudian, no?

One of his first memories of his father was seeing him at the family dining-room table in Miami in the 1960s finalising the lay-out of a small Cuban exile political newspaper - all done manually and the traditional way, of course.

Emilio describes his father's connection with the paper as the old-fashioned version of the relationship a modern-day activist blogger might have with an online blog.

Emilio remembers passionate discussions at that same dining-room table over the future of Cuba, often involving family members with disparate views on Fidel Castro's Communist Revolution.

Emilio credits these debates with schooling him in journalistic distance when approaching a controversial subject.

A bout of whooping cough - which came at the same time as puberty- may have led quite by accident to the development of Emilio's deep voice.

That voice, he says, played a key role in helping him forge a career in radio, and has been compared on numerous occasions (though not exclusively), to the raspy tones of the soul-singer, Barry White.

Emilio's career began with an unpaid but rewarding four year stint at the University of Miami college radio station, which then led to a job at the National Public Radio affiliate in South Florida.

Eight years later Emilio and his wife began an international adventure which led them to Spain and in 1999 to London.

He has been with the BBC World Service ever since.

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