Cuba: Repression, the Exodus of August 1994, and the U.S. Response

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In early August 1994, hundreds of Cubans began leaving their country by boat, heading north toward the United States ninety miles away. Initially, the drama of these perilous journeys was localized, and the influx was treated as just a South Florida news story. The flow of Cubans had rapidly become an exodus, and their story of danger and desperation an international news event. For the U.S. government, the rafters were both a domestic political issue and a crisis that could shape the future of U.S.-Cuban relations.

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