April 20th marks the 40th anniversary of the Mariel Boatlift. As published by the History Channel:
“Today in History: On April 20, 1980, the [Castro regime](https://www.history.com/topics/cold-war/fidel-castro) announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift. The first of 125,000 Cuban refugees from Mariel reached [Florida](https://www.history.com/topics/us-states/florida) the next day.In all, 125,000 Cubans fled to U.S. shores in about 1,700 boats, creating large waves of people that overwhelmed the U.S. Coast guard. Cuban guards had packed boat after boat, without considering safety, making some of the overcrowded boats barely seaworthy. Twenty-seven migrants died, including 14 on an overloaded boat that capsized on May 17.” – FROM: HISTORY.COM .
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