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1,170 Refugees Reach Florida, Many In Poor Condition

Jan. 25, 1963 - Another group of 1,170 refugees reached the U.S. today from Cuba. Some were old and in poor physical condition, and many were pale from seasickness when they left the freighter Shirley Lykes at Fort Lauderdale’s Port Everglades after a pitching voyage in 25-knot winds and heavy seas. But they smiled brightly when they rode from the port in a cavalcade of buses to Miami Stadium, where 5,000 friends and relatives who had come earlier gave them a loud and cheerful greeting. The price of escape from Fidel Castro’s Communist regime for the refugees was the surrender of all possessions except three changes of clothing. The sight of so many others from home helped to melt some of the misgivings. “When I left Cuba, I felt scared about the future,” said 31-year-old Roberto de Carrillo, who arrived with his wife and two daughters. “But the fear left me when I saw all the people like us who are here.” The welcoming crowd included many members of Brigade 2506 who had been captured at the Bay of Pigs then freed just before Christmas for a $53 million ransom of food and medicine.


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