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Voices from Mariel : Oral Histories of the 1980 Cuban Boatlift - (Hardcover)

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About this item

Between April and September 1980, more than 125,000 Cuban refugees fled their homeland, seeking freedom from Fidel Castro’s dictatorship. They departed in boats from the port of Mariel and braved the dangerous 90-mile journey across the Straits of Florida. Told in the words of the immigrants themselves, the stories in Voices from Mariel offer an up-close view of this international crisis, the largest overseas mass migration in Latin American history.

Former refugees describe what it was like to gather among thousands of dissidents on the grounds of the Peruvian embassy in Cuba where the movement first began. They were abused by the masses who protested them as they made their way to the Mariel harbor, before Castro permitted them to leave the country in an attempt to disperse the civil unrest. They waited interminably for boats in oppressive heat, squalor, and desperation at the crowded tent camp known as “El Mosquito.” They embarked on vessels overloaded with too many passengers and battled harrowing storms on their journeys across the open ocean.

Author José Manuel García, who emigrated on the Mariel boatlift as a teenager, describes the events that led to the exodus and explains why so many Cubans wanted to leave the island. The shockingly high numbers of refugees who came through immigration centers in Key West, Miami, and other parts of the United States sent a message to the world—loud and clear—of the people’s discontent with Castro’s government and the unfulfilled promises of the Cuban Revolution.

Based on the award-winning documentary of the same name, Voices from Mariel features the experiences of marielitos from all walks of life. These are stories of disappointed dreams, love for family and country, and hope for a better future. This book illuminates a powerful moment in history that will continue to be felt in Cuba and the United States for generations to come.

Number of Pages: 177
Genre: Social Science, History
Sub-Genre: Emigration & Immigration, United States, Caribbean & West Indies
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Univ Pr of Florida
Book theme: State & Local, South (AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VA, WV), Cuba
Author: Josu00e9 Manuel Garcu00eda
Language: English
Street Date: February 16, 2018
TCIN: 53268061
UPC: 9780813056661
Item Number (DPCI): 248-59-7081
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Ratings & reviews

overall: 5 out of 5 stars, see all reviews

Most recent reviews

Fascinating description of the Mariel Boatlift

(would recommend)
5 out of 5 stars
lpierce25 8 months ago
verified purchaser
This story amazingly describes the author's personal experience as one of the over 100,000 Marielitos who fled from Castro's regime in Cuba. The book especially opened my eyes because it includes personal and intriguing accounts from many other individuals involved in the boatlift. While Voices from...see moreof the reviewer's review
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A Great Read

(would recommend)
5 out of 5 stars
oliviakerper 8 months ago
This book was assigned for my college class, and I thought it was wonderful. It was very intriguing to learn about the difficulties that the Cuban immigrants went through to get to America. It was very well written and kept me on the edge of my seat. I found that a lot of the thoughts that I had abo...see moreof the reviewer's review
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