Mariel Boat Lift Is Subject Of The Next Florida Lecture Series Event

Mar 16, 2022

by FSC Staff

The Lawton M. Chiles Center for Florida History’s Florida Lecture Series takes a look at one of the biggest events in the history of the state in the past 50 years.

Florida Southern College Associate Professor Dr. Jose Garcia and Middlesex (Conn.) Community College History Professor Dr. Andres Triay will give a presentation on The Mariel Boat Lift at 7 p.m. on March 17 in The Hollis Room inside the Buckner Building. The event is open to the public.

During the spring and summer of 1980, desperate Cuban refugees set out across the Straits of Florida to escape economic and political repression. Many longed to reunite with family members in the United States, who had already escaped from Fidel Castro’s communist dictatorship. Professors Garcia and Triay capture and interpret this human drama — in written form, and from personal experience. Both will share their perspectives on this human drama.

Garcia was one of more than 125,000 Cuban immigrants who took part in the Mariel Boat Lift, and has presented his experiences around the world. Garcia was instrumental in making the 2011 documentary Voices From Mariel, which he later turned into a book titled Voices From Mariel: Oral Histories of the 1980 Cuban Boatlift.

Triay is also an accomplished author having penned Operation Pedro Pan, Bay of Pigs: An Oral History of Brigade 2506 and The Mariel Boatlift: A Cuban-American Journey, the latter which earned the gold medal non-fiction Florida book Award.

Originating in 1995, the Florida Lecture Series is a forum that brings speakers who explore Florida lifestyles and culture to the Florida Southern College campus. The series covers a wide range of disciplines including history, public affairs, law, sociology, criminology, anthropology, literature, and art. The objective of the series is to bring members of the community, faculty and student body together to interact with, and learn from, leading authorities in their fields.