When Fidel Castro and a band of followers finally succeeded in the overthrow of the Cuban dictator, Fulgencio Batista, in 1959, the number of people leaving Cuba increased dramatically. The initial people to escape from Castro’s dictatorship consisted mostly of wealthy upper middle class Cubans who left the island in the early 1960’s. The United States government aided eligible refugees by finding them employment and homes.
A large quantity of Cubans immigrated to America in 1980 in a movement called the Mariel boatlift. This group of 125,000 traveled by way of boat to Florida and was comprised of inept workers, lawbreakers, and mentally handicapped people whom the Cuban government basically dumped onto American soil. Unaware that several of these people were criminals, the United States allowed them to enter America. In fact, very few were forced to go back to Cuba.
Since the Castro coup, Cubans have continually immigrated to America. Today, United States cities with a large Cuban population include Miami and Tampa, Florida. A city with a large population of Cubans outside of Florida is Union City, New Jersey.
The Cubans who left in the early 1960’s were the first main wave, which preceded another large group that left Cuba for Florida when Fidel Castro allowed them to flee from Cuba through the port of Camarioca. Sailors came to Cuba to retrieve relatives and take them away. Castro allowed them to leave due to tension building between the Cuban people and Castro’s revolution. Subsequently, Castro allowed roughly 5,000 people to disembark from this port by way of boat.