Cuomo Concludes Cuba Mission With Tour of Port Mariel

Governor Cuomo is in Cuba this morning and returns to New York City this late this afternoon.

This morning, Governor Cuomo and members of the NYS Trade Mission travel to and tour the Port of Mariel. Americans will remember Port Mariel as the infamous embarkation point for Cuban refugees, political prisoners and criminals in April 1980.

On April 20, 1980, the Castro regime launched the “Mariel Boatlift” by permitting all Cubans wanting to emigrate to the United States to freely board boats at the Port of Mariel. The first of 125,000 Cuban refugees reached Florida the next day. The Mariel boatlift was sparked by housing and job shortages caused by an anemic Cuban economy. The incident roiled American politics and sank the re-election effort of then-President Jimmy Carter.

Following the Port Mariel tour, Governor Cuomo plans to meet with Cuba’s First Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana. This meeting was rescheduled from Monday. While the event is closed to the press, the Associated Press will provide pool photos of the meeting.

After meeting with First Vice President Diaz-Canel, Governor Cuomo and his trade delegation will return to Jose Marti Airport for the flight back to New York. Assembly Speaker Carl E. Heastie, IDC leader Senator Jeff Klein and Senate Minority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins traveled as part of Governor Cuomo’s Cuba trade mission entourage. 

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