MARIEL BOATLIFT Revisited

Powerline: It is fun to watch the left react to Trump’s suggestion that he might send migrants and asylum seekers to “sanctuary cities,” but their outrage may conceal the panic of the political fallout if Trump goes through with it, as he should.

Anyone remember the Mariel Boatlift in 1980? That’s when Fidel Castro declared that anyone who wanted to emigrate to the United States was free to do so within a narrow window of time. Within days, 125,000 Cubans were en route to the U.S. Just where did that rickety fleet come from on such short notice? No one seemed to be curious about that, though even slow learners eventually figured out that Castro used this “humanitarian” gesture to offload a lot of criminals, mentally ill persons, and other Cubans he wanted very much to be rid of. Which means the Cuban government was organized in advance for this “spontaneous” moment. As Harold Rood liked to say,” Nothing happens for no good reason.”

But that’s not the real fun part. Jimmy Carter sent a large number of the Mariel refugees to  camps in Arkansas, where public unhappiness contributed to the defeat of Gov. Bill Clinton in November that year. The Washington Post recalled this a few years ago:

The Forgotten Story of How Refugees Almost Ended Bill Clinton’s Career

The scene would later remind one witness of the Vietnam War.

“Plumes of smoke billowed high into the illuminated night sky from barracks that had been set afire,” David Maraniss wrote in The Washington Post. “Flames still flickered from a charred guardhouse. Whoops and fierce cries of defiance echoed across the camp. Shotgun-toting civilians in pickup trucks loomed a mile or so beyond the gate. The mood was tense and chaotic.”

But this wasn’t Vietnam — or Iraq in the wake of an Islamic State attack. This was Fort Chaffee, a military installation in Arkansas, on June 1, 1980, when refugees from Fidel Castro’s Cuba rioted. The refugees had been sent there at the behest of President Jimmy Carter over the vociferous objections of an Arkansas governor with quite a political future: Bill Clinton. . .

“The Fort Chaffee story is largely forgotten by the general public, but it’s a good bet that some governors haven’t forgotten its political lessons,” David A. Graham wrote at the Atlantic. . .

This part of the story may be my favorite detail: MORE

11 Comments on MARIEL BOATLIFT Revisited

  1. My husband was the Commander at Camp McCoy (Wisconsin). We were both stationed at Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma and he was sent TDY to take care of Cubans who Castro released. He had 100% males all from the prisons and mental institutions in Cuba. They were very addicted as they were given uppers in the morning and downers at night in Cuba. We all heard about Ft. Chaffee and Valley Forge but how many heard about McCoy? They had about 5 of them get under jeeps and drink the antifreeze (for the high) and they killed their kidneys so they had to go on dialysis. Fun times for all–not. Oh, and Mt. St. Helen’s erupted several times while he was gone and our son was in the hospital!

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  2. A few hundred thousand uneducated wastrels mixed nicely
    with gangs of MS-13 machete boys dropped off to wander
    around in the middle of the sanctuary state capitals
    will amazingly adjust the attitude of our lefties.

    15
  3. It was an act of war. Carter should have imposed a blockade of Cuba, and sent all the criminals and mentally ill back to Castro. It cost millions of dollars to keep these people incarcerated and hospitalized. Repatriating all those criminals should have been a precondition to any normalization of diplomatic relations with Castro. Osmidgen couldn’t be bothered of course.

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  4. Carter was an insanely incompetent president – absolutely clueless and pathetic. No one ever thought a president could be worse – then came obama, not only less incompetent than carter, but a completely corrupt traitor.

    These are invasions, and the invading country needs to get a few air stikes to get the message.

    8
  5. Trump has Democrats so confused they couldn’t tell ya’ if they are afoot or on horseback. He is not giving them a chance to catch their breath. Constant offense.

    13
  6. Send them the trash and keep the peaceful families.

    Make Sanctuary Cities suffer.

    Cut off all federal funding. Let them depress wages and then raid any business that hires an illegal in those cities specifically.

    And when they cry for help, tell them no.

    10
  7. Trump continues to force everyone to show who and what they are and what they really stand for.

    The only major political figure in America that has the guts to do it, to call them out and make them expose them selves and their true nature.

    7
  8. JUST

    Carter was NOT a farmer! Hid Dad was the biggest pNut broker south of the md lime! Hew go to Navsl Acadamhy because his dad comped FDR on many trips! If Jimma had eve had to far for a livin he’d a starved!

    i voted Carer in ’76 because he was the conservative.
    2 goals he said were:
    abolish IRS fire ll employees!
    cut govet in half by ’80! ZERO BASED BUDGET

    Of course it was a lie almost as bad as the liberal “compasionate conservatiove” lie!

    Stephen Green has a n article at PJM on this today!

    Jimmy, like Bush, McCain, Mitt, lied about his goals! He, like they, was not conservative!
    Agin Jimy never farmed!

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