Plight of the Cuban Refugees
Here is a chronology of events related to the exodus and detention of Cuban refugees:
April 20, 1980: First boatload of 125,000 refugees from the Cuban port of Mariel arrives in Florida. Many detained because of criminal backgrounds or mental illness.
June 8, 1980: A thousand Cuban detainees burn four buildings at the detention center at Ft. Chaffee, Ark.
May-June, 1981: Cubans conduct hunger strikes to protest imprisonment in Atlanta federal penitentiary.
June 11, 1981: First Cuban detainee freed from Atlanta prison by court order.
Nov. 23, 1982: Judge orders government to release more Cuban detainees from Atlanta prison, bringing total freed to 1,300.
Oct. 14-17, 1984: Cuban detainees set fires at prison in Atlanta.
Aug. 22, 1985: Fifty Cubans riot at detention center in Florence, Ariz.
May 28, 1986: Cuban rioters damage the detention center in Miami.
Nov. 21, 1987: Cuban prisoners at the detention center in Oakdale, La., begin eight-day riot, setting fires and taking hostages.
Nov. 23, 1987: Cuban detainees in Atlanta begin 11-day riot. Attorney general offers moratorium on deportations.
December, 1988: The deportation of Cuban prisoners resumes.
Aug. 21, 1991: Dozens of Cuban inmates at federal prison at Talladega, Ala., seize and threaten to kill at least 10 hostages to keep from being deported. Thirty-two had been scheduled for deportation Aug. 22.
Aug. 28, 1991: Cuban inmates release one hostage.
Aug. 30, 1991: SWAT team storms the high-security cellblock where Cuban inmates had held nine remaining hostages, rescuing them safely.