Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oh boy you missed the boat...!

So long before Mariel...beginning on 10 October 1965, the port of Camarioca was opened so that any Cubans desiring to leave for The Yankee Paradise could do so. Any boats of Cuban exiles that wished to return to Cuba to evacuate relatives would be permitted into Camarioca. The Cubans who wished to depart Cuba had to submit an application to the Ministry of the Interior. They would also forfeit any land or property they had in order to leave.

Camarioca remained open until 15 November 1965. A total of 2,979 Cubans took advantage of such offer during the time the port remained open. Those migrants who were still at the port, numbering in the thousands, were ultimately taken by officially chartered passenger vessels to Florida. Soon thereafter the U.S. and Cuban governments negotiated what became known as Freedom Flights using commercial aircraft to transport those Cubans who wished to immigrate to the U.S. keep dreaming!

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