30 years Later, Looking Back at the Mariel Exodus

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On April 20th, 1980, Fidel Castro announced the port of Mariel opened to anyone wishing to leave Cuba. A massive exodus ensued in the following six months, with as many as 125,000 Cubans making the journey to Florida.

Thirty years later, we talk to participants about their memories, their first impressions of South Florida and how they changed the culture around Miami.

If you live in Miami, we're asking, How did the Mariel boatlift change your city? You can call us at 877-8-MY TAKE or leave a comment here.

We hear from two Cuban immigrants about their journey, their first impressions of South Florida, and how they changed the culture around Miami.

Mirta Ojito is a reporter, and author of “Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus.”

We also speak with Ivonne Cuesta, who was seven when she arrived in Miami. Now an attorney, Ivonne could become the first sitting Miami-Dade judge who came to the United States during the exodus.