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Cubans in America: Push and Pull Factors of Immigration
Asylum: Refuge, sanctuary, place of safety.
Flotilla: Fleet of small boats.
Repatriation: The action of sending someone back to their own country.
Interdict: Formal prohibition, in this case, restraining from entering the country.
Communique: Official announcement.
Chronology of Cuban Migration,
As released by the Office of Cuban Affairs, Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State, March 20, 2000.
1960-1962 Operation Peter Pan: Program headed by Ramon Grau and Father Brian Walsh, under which 14,000 Cuban children under the age of 16 were airlifted to the US.
Dec 1962 Cuban government releases 1,113 prisoners of the Bay of Pigs to the US in exchange for $53 million in medicine and goods collected from private donors.
Oct 1965 Over 3000 Cubans leave in a boatlift from Camarioca to the United States.
Nov 6, 1965 Under the leadership of President Johnson, Freedom Flights program begins.
Nov 2, 1966 The Cuban Adjustment Act allows 123,000 Cubans to apply for permanent residence in the U.S.
1971 Freedom Flights end. Under this program 250,000 Cubans enter the U.S.
Sep 1977 The United States and Cuba open Interests Sections in each others capitals.
Apr 1980 10,000 Cubans storm the Peruvian Embassy in Havana seeking political asylum. The Cuban government opens the Port of Mariel and encourages departures. A flotilla of Cuban migrants (eventually 125,000) begins an exodus from the port of Mariel in Cuba to the United States.
May 14, 1980 President Carter demands that the Cuban government impose an orderly departure and orders a blockade to prevent private boats from the U.S. traveling to Cuba to pick up refugees. The Cuban government closes Mariel harbor in September.
Dec 22, 1980 Initiation of meetings between U.S. and Cuban officials to discuss the repatriation of the Cuban migrants of the Mariel exodus.
July 31, 1984 U.S. and Cuban officials hold talks on migration issues.
Dec 14, 1984 The United States and Cuba conclude a migration pact under which Cuba agrees to accept the return of some Cuban migrants of the Mariel crisis.
May 20, 1985 Radio Marti begins broadcasts to Cuba. The Cuban government immediately jams the signal. Castro later suspends the 1984 U.S.- Cuban immigration agreement.
Nov 19, 1987 The United States and Cuba reinstate the 1984 agreement.
Oct 1, 1993 The United States and Cuba reach an agreement on the repatriation of the return of additional criminal Cuban migrants. Not implemented absent final GOC approval.
Aug 1994 Following Castro's declaration of an open migration policy, a new boat lift begins when 30,000 refugees set sail from Cuba as economic conditions continue to deteriorate. President Clinton instructs the U.S. Coast Guard to interdict migrants and transport to non-U.S. safe havens.
Sep 1, 1994 Migration talks on the August migrant crisis begin in New York City between Cuban and U.S. officials.
Sep 9, 1994 The U.S. and Cuba issue a joint communique on measures that ensure that migration between the two countries is safe, legal, and orderly. The U.S. agrees that total legal migration to the U.S. will be a minimum of 20,000 per year.
May 2, 1995 The U.S. and Cuba issue a joint statement reaffirming their commitment to promote safe, legal, and orderly migration. Under this accord, Cubans interdicted at sea or who enter the Guantanamo Naval Base illegally are returned to Cuba provided that they do not have any protection concerns. The circumstances of returned Cubans are monitored by personnel from the United States Interests Section.
Document 8: United States Department of State. Fact Sheet on Cuban Migration, 1958-1998. March 20, 2000. Available online at http://www.state.gov/www/regions/wha/cuba/migration_chron.html
Document 8 Short-Answer Questions
- What U.S. operation brought 14,000 Cuban children to the U.S. after the Castro revolution?
- When did the Freedom Flights program begin and when did they end?
- What 1980 event caused Castro to open the Port of Mariel to allow refugees to leave Cuba for the United States? How many left?
- What caused another wave of refugees to leave Cuba in 1994?
- How many Cubans are allowed into the U.S. each year under the current immigration policies?