Mariel boatlift  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
The Mariel Boatlift was a mass movement of Cubans who departed from Cuba's Mariel Harbor for the United States between April 15 and October 31, 1980.

The boatlift was precipitated by a sharp downturn in the Cuban economy, leading to simmering internal tensions on the island and a bid by up to 10,000 Cubans to gain asylum in the Peruvian embassy.

The Cuban government subsequently announced that anyone who wanted to leave could do so, and an impromptu exodus organized by Cuban-Americans with the agreement of Cuban President Fidel Castro was underway. The boatlift began to have negative political implications for U.S. President Jimmy Carter when it was discovered that a number of the exiles had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities. The exodus was ended by mutual agreement between the two governments in October 1980. By that time up to 125,000 Cubans had made the journey to Florida.

Popular culture

The Mariel boatlift is depicted in the films Scarface (1983), The Perez Family (1995), and Before Night Falls (2000).

Some of the more famous Mariel boatlift refugees ("Marielitos") include:

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Mariel boatlift" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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