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Draft Statement by Governor Farris Bryant Regarding the Cuban Refugee Crisis, 1961
FOR GOVERNOR FARRIS BRYANT THE CUBAN REFUGEE STORY Floridians have been particularly concerned about the thousands of Cuban refugees in exile in Florida from the communistic Castro regime in their homeland. We have been concerned from the standpoint of human compassion because we have a deep feeling for human beings who are and country to flee penniless and often in danger of their lives. But we know that they found the Florida coast a friendly foreign shore. I am sure the story of the Cuban refugee in Florida will bear me out. The feeling of friendship between the citizens of Florida and the citizens of Cuba is centuries old. Our Mutual interests are historic, traditional, cultural, economic, and physical. From the beginning of colonial history, Havana was the base from which several Spanish discoverers came to explore Florida. Floridians were intensely interested in the Cuban struggle for freedom at the turn of the century. A large number of Floridians were directly involved in that struggle. In fact, Florida was the military base of operations in that fight for freedom by the Cuban people. Our closeness to Cuba, only 90 miles distant, puts Miami and Florida in the position of being the gateway to Latin America. Thus, our ties with the freedom loving Cuban people are strong and our feelings for them run deep. The enormity of the Cuban refugee immigration into Florida is apparent from figures. On January 31, 1961, it was estimated that there were 58,000 Cubans in Florida. More than 28,000 of them were exiles, tourists, businessmen, or students. About 11,200 have been granted political asylum by the United States. The problem was further complicated in the Miami area by a slight drop in Employment in January from January a year ago, and a 63.2 per cent increase in
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Draft Statement by Governor Farris Bryant Regarding the Cuban Refugee Crisis, 1961. 1961 (circa). State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/346141>, accessed 4 October 2023.
Draft Statement by Governor Farris Bryant Regarding the Cuban Refugee Crisis, 1961. 1961 (circa). State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.<https://www.floridamemory.com/items/show/346141>