20 migrants sailed from Puerto de Mariel in Cuba on May 23, trying to reach the United States. When their boat capsized about 18 miles southwest of Key West, the group became separated, and eight survivors were rescued from the water by the Coast Guard. Cubans have been migrating by boat to the United States for quite some time, and there have been a variety of official US policies during the Cuban exodus. This Library of Congress research guide can be helpful to contextualize the exodus over the years from a United States point of view. But one of the parts of these policies is directly related to a local community.
In 1980, 14,000 Cubans were brought to the Ft. McCoy military base which is a little less than an hour drive from La Crosse, WI. Ft. McCoy resettlement staff produced a bilingual newspaper for this community, named El Mercurio de McCoy, which chronicles the everyday life of these refugees as they became acclimated to their new surroundings. Find the digitized newspaper issues at this link, hosted at the UW-LaCrosse Murphy Library Digital Collections.