The Mariel Boatlift was a mass exodus of refugees from Cuba's Mariel Harbour, from April 1 until September 26, 1980. Approximately 125,000 Cubans arrived in the United States. April 1, 1980 - Six Cubans seeking asylum crash a bus through gates of Peruvian Embassy in Havana. April 4, 1980 - Peru extends asylum to the gate-crashers. April 6, 1980 - 10,856 Cubans crowd onto embassy grounds; Peru grants them asylum. April 20, 1980 - Cuban President Fidel Castro announces he will open the port of Mariel for exiles to pick up relatives who want to leave the island. May, 1980 - Orange Bowl prepared as emergency shelter. Eglin Air Force Base in Pensacola opens as processing center and resettlement camp. Daily flow of refugees surpasses 3,000. US President Jimmy Carter: "We'll continue to provide an open heart and open arms to refugees seeking freedom from Communist domination." -- Compiled by Miami Herald researcher Gay Nemeti
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In this video, Cuban-American Juan Carlos Zaldivar documents his emigration from Mariel as a 13-year-old loyalist of the Cuban Revolution. Includes reflections from other emigrants and interview with the filmmaker.
Overview of US Coast Guard's role in the 1980 exodus of 125,000 Cubans to the US, and subsequent US immigration issues.
Marielito and proud: Journalist offers perspective on boatlift
Interview with Mirta Ojito where she discusses her childhood in Cuba and the motivation for the exodus. (April 11, 2005)
U. S. Coast Guard Operations During the 1980 Cuban Exodus
Detailed account of search and rescue as well as interdiction efforts. (May 01, 2003)
Mariel Exodus - A Year in Retrospect
Dade County government report reviewing the response of local government and individuals, and criticizing FEMA's response and emergency camp management. It also includes demographic information on the refugees, and their use of local human services. (April 01, 1981)
Last update:June 23, 2015 at 12:35:06 UTC