tv Cuban Refugees and the 1980 Mariel Boatlift CSPAN February 21, 2015 4:45pm-5:47pm EST
ways of the standard service rifle. one-shot, one kill, united states army snipers. >> sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern time, former cia chief of disguise recounts the story of two jekyll survived in kgb spies, they infiltrated the cia and gathered top-secret information through the use of sex in the 1970's. he reports that one popular washington dc swingers club frequented by the couple counted at least 10 cia staffers and a u.s. senator as members. sunday at 6:30 p.m. eastern here on american history tv. >> american history tv is joining our time warner cable partners to showcase the history of of greensboro, north
carolina. to learn more about the cities on our 2015 to her, visited c-span.org/cities to her. we continue now with our look at the history of greensboro. this is american history tv on c-span3. > today we are the greensboro historical museum. this is exhibit called the murphy confederate long arms collection. this collection was loaned to the museum, and then bequeath to the museum on dr. murphy's death in 2003. john and isabel murphy were a couple married, and john was a particular collector of confederate long arms. he was born in washington, d.c., and attended school in virginia, said he was a southerner. he enrolled in the navy and served as a doctor for 20 years
before retiring. he assembled an outstanding collection, one of its kind of confederate long arms. by that, i mean rifles muskets shotguns, and carbines made in the south for confederate soldiers. his interest in the civil war talking to his maternal grandfather and some great uncles, and the fact that his maternal grandfather was a confederate veteran, so i think that sparked his interest in the civil war. this in tenniel of the civil war in the 1960's was also a big celebration. around that time, 1950's and early 1960's, he started collecting artifacts and rifles, weapons from the civil war. the collection consists of approximately hundred pieces total. as i said, dr. murphy originally loaned the collection to the greensboro historical museum, and it was his intention to give it to the museum on his death.
it was willed to the museum in 2003 and now it's part of our permanent collection. we are starting with a piece that was made by tarpley. this is a pace piece that was manufactured here. it was one of the most rare and unique pieces in the collection. you can see stamped on here jeremiah tarpley was the gentleman who applied and received a patent for this design. it was his idea for the sign of the rifle -- the design of the rifle in combination with an existing firm was making sewing machines in greensboro that also resulted in the manufacture of this piece. this is number 380, the serial number. it is unusual and its appearance. it is missing a wooden for stock. every other rifle or longer manufactured has a piece of wood that goes along here, and this
particular design omitted that. that was one of the design flaws. it got too hot to handle. they weren't very user-friendly. being said, few of these were made, less than 200, and today less than 20 are known to be in existence. dr. murphy had four in his collection, which we have here to museum. this next piece is a rifle that was manufactured i jones and gardner -- by jones and gardner. this rifle is more traditional compared to the tarpley. it has a complete barrel. the ramrod. it is a muzzleloader compared to a breech loader that we saw with the tarpley piece. what we know about this piece is the soldier who used this piece. as you can see, at the bottom of the stock here, there's a plaque
that was added after the civil war, which says, solomon haze, company g, north carolina infantry. this general and was a farmer from south carolina who enlisted in the confederacy in 1962 and was discharged at the age of 59. here's an example of where we know who the rifle was used by and then stay in the family and was descended and eventually acquired by dr. murphy. the last piece i selected to talk about is another rifle. this one is made by h c lamb. the family is one of the gunsmiths from jamestown. his father was a gunsmith not
for military purposes, but he made hunting rifles and guns. henry learned his trade from his father and went into production during the civil war. here is an example of where the craft was passed on to a second generation, and then he actually was awarded a contract with the state of north carolina provide arms for the confederacy. again, about 500 of these were believed to be made to support the troops. this map shows all of the different armories and locations that were represented within the collection. there are 39 different makers or armories that are represented in the murphy collection. each of the stars on the map will show where things that were made within the murphy collection are shown. the piedmont rifle, this shows where the tarpley's were made and interestingly enough, the armories and makers are long gone, but the sites of been excavated. you use these relics and pieces that have been dug up and found
at the site. it gives us further evidence that we know with a play sexy was and further incomplete pieces that were not assembled or used. they would have varied in size and scale depending upon the location. some of them were quiet large and sophisticated. others were not so large but they would have been done with the skill level for men to work with the iron and metals to shape and craft the tools and eventually produce the weapons. most of them are no longer in existence, but the sites where they stood have been explored and archaeological digs have taken place, and so the pieces that were found that have been dug up, that have been saved many of which have been found to put into museums today, they are further evidence of the work that was done. some of these pieces might've been discards, rejected, or when they abandon the site or they were left behind in hurry, they
were buried underneath and now they turned up 100 figures later. i would like to stop here at the south greeneville state works, a case devoted to moore's carbines. it is shorter than a rifle and a little bit less powerful, but as a preferred weapon for men on a horse. in this case, you see a pristine example here. very advanced technology for this time in the war, and an opportunity for scholars studying these pieces. we have an actual prototype ease that was made, and below that we have serial number two. the second piece made of production. nowhere else can you see these pieces. then we have a later place -- peas with us your own number of 1013. there are very subtle changes but significant and important ones that took place in the course of the time between the prototype and the last piece
that was made. it influenced how the performance of the peas and how useful it was to the soldier during battle. were also incredibly fortunate to have a shipping crate it was used to ship these carbines. this kind of material rarely survived. this collection has a lot of different values. we have it here at the museum and we are keepers of it for the general public, but it also estimate his research value and scholarly value. one of the great things about this collection is that it contains multiple examples of rifles and carbines made at a particular armory or manufacturing sites. having more than one example having maybe 10 examples of those pieces made over a span of several years, scholars and researchers are able to compare the differences and how the pieces were made, look at the
examples of the nuances and the changes and how some of the technology was improved over time. dr. murphy was more than just a collector, although he was an extremely discerning collector these are choice pieces that are in pristine condition with all original parts, but there also that he assembled them with a purpose and actually published several books. after he retired from his medical practice, devoted his energy and his time to writing several books. he really was a leading force in the field of scholarship in this field and opened up a lot of doors and shared a tremendous amount of information with the scholars that are interested in this. they are now able to benefit from that by having it a public venue here the museum. the museum has a wide number of visitors with a range of interests. we try to present the collection in a context that will appeal to
a lot of different types of visitors here. individuals that have a keen interest in this war will find it interesting for some reason. individuals that are particularly excited about long arms and rifles will be especially a static disease and many pieces in one place. you are hard-pressed to find that. at the same time, we also went to appeal to the general public, so we put up these rifles and other instruments, but we also put out other examples of artifacts related to the civil war and paintings from dr. murphy's collection, and personal effects that were used by confederate soldiers to try to convey the experience of what it was like for soldier at the time, what were some of the experiences, and to bring that experience to life. it's not just an abstract sense of looking at a piece of technology, but also the people that were involved, so there's a personal basis to that as well. it's a collection that came out -- cannot be diverted or replicated elsewhere.
it is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of collection and an opportunity to see. it is an awesome responsibility for the museum to be the caretaker and stewart of this collection. >> american history tv is featuring greensboro, north carolina, a cities to her staff recently traveled there to learn about its rich history. learn more about greensboro and other stops on c-span cities to her at c-span.org/cities to her. -- cities to her. you're watching american history tv, all we can, every weekend on c-span3. >> the guard towers are gone, but the memories come flooding back for so many people who until today had lost such a big part of their childhood. many released after the war some very the memories, and with it the history of this camp. now more than 60 years later -- >> this sunday, on the only
family internment camp at crystal city texas, in which he says is the reason for this camp. >> the government comes and says we have a deal for you. we will reunite you with your family and the crystal city internment camp, the family internment camp, if you agree to go voluntarily. i discovered what the real secret of the camp was. they also had to agree to voluntarily repatriate to germany and to japan if the government decided they needed to be repatriated. the truth of the matter is that the crystal city camp was humanely administered, but the special war divisions in the department of state used it as roosevelt's primary prisoner exchange in the center of roosevelt's prisoner exchange program.
>> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern and pacific on c-span's q&a. >> on american history tv, the co-authors of the book, florida and the marielle boatlift lift of 1980, the first 20 days. they discuss how the state of florida handled the arrival of 30,000 cuban recipes -- refugees in key west and 30 months. the authors discuss the so-called mary alito's, the first wave of over 120,000 cuban immigrants in 1980 and the impact they had on the political and social culture in florida. this session from the bob graham center for public service at the university of florida is about one hour. >> welcome to the bob graham center. thank you for being here this evening. we have a very interesting program for you on the mariel boat lift. we have three great scholars and speakers here this evening with
us. this program this evening is sponsored by the bob graham center, the center for latin american studies. i want to thank our partners for their collaboration with us in this event tonight. i am david kathleen hawk and their book is entitled entitled entitled tphra tphra and they'll discuss the political response to the crisis and account how local agencies along with private volunteers left to provide food, shelter and security for these new arrivals. they'll speak for about 40 minutes all together and then we'll open it up for a discussion and conversation with you. he have a microphone here for
your availability, and we welcome you to talk and ask any questions about the mariel boatlift, the cuban american experience or the new diplomatic initiative involving the united states and cuba. our moderator is dr. tkpwaeur ra distinguished member of the department of history and cuban history and three books. we greatly appreciate her being here this evening and coordinating this event. without further adieu i'll let our panelists take control of the evening. thank you for being here. [applause] >> it's a privilege to be here. thank you for coming. thank you for inviting me and i had some time this morning and over the weekend to get to know our two authors. i think they have a great deal to teach us. i want to start with a few
introductory remarks to get us to remember what the mariel boatlift was all about and also to highlight how unique their contribution is with this book. what became known as the mariel boatlift began in april 1980. on a particular day in april somebody we don't remember at all was responsible for the event that took place, the very long event that became the mariel boatlift. on this day he drove a bus filled with a handful of friends and family through the gates of the caribbean embassy. within hours to the shock of the castro government and the world about 10800 people all random people from the streets of havana decided to go to the grounds of the peruvian embassy. some of them are family members of mine, cartoonists
professors ran tkpl workers, people off the street. people who came with their families and by themselves suddenly showed up on the grounds of the embassy and about 10,800 people packed into the grounds. they sought political asylum not from peru but from the united states. most of us are accustomed of thinking of the mariel boatlift as an entirely spontaneously generated event. it was born of the decision of the man to drive the bus through the gates of the embassy. while the majority of the thousands who showed up that day definitely did act spontaneously. what this book shows is how and why mariel was not a spontaneous event from the perspective of the cuban government what eventually brought 125,000 cubans to u.s. shores was the product of particular strategic policies on the part of the
government so the book argues to consolidate national security interest in unique and unprecedented ways by influencing the cuban exile, political culture as they have never been able to do prior. reasons for this that i would give as background include the fact that 1978 to 1980 as a result of negotiations were 3, 1 the united states and cuba created son sol lats in each other's countries which was unprecedented . secondly about 3,000 political prisoners were free from cuba's jail and third and probably most importantly, castro's government allowed the visit of 100,000 cuban exiles who had been
declared enemies of the state and enemies of the revolution and non-cubans to return and visit their families. this process or these processes shook the cuban citizenry that had lived in isolation from alternative forms of news and perspectives not controlled by the communist state or surveillance agencies in surprising ways. to put it bluntly a lot of people who not really questioned their government's representation of the exiled community or what the experience was, their government representation suddenly came face to face with it in the form of their own family members and in many long conversation. when they come to the united states in that context in 1980 it was a shock to the system. they were very different than
cuban exiles. 25% of them at least self-identified as black or my lat tows. they also came from largely working class backgrounds, a lot of them had benefited from the revolution in other ways and they didn't see all policies were bad or taboo and they were shocked to develop those were taboo subjects in miami. to talk about the healthcare system or universal access to free healthcare or free education was something that made it seem good and therefore not really accessible in miami. what is important about the book in many respects is it shows in many miami. what is important about the book in ways these physicians were
ordinary there in miami could be exploited and were by the castro regime. they have three goals in creating and orchestrating or directly making it possible for it to happen. these goals i would say first to discredit the ways positive image of cube cubans in the united states. and second, they wanted to leave cuba and remain in cuba by showing and highlighting it. they were criminals. they were people you didn't want to be living next door to and sending people from cuba's jails. even though they were a smile minority of the 125,000 they were important. third goal that the book highlights and most provocatively i think of the
cuban government is that the primary objective was to deliberately create and help craft new divisions among newly arriving and the existing exile by planning agents of cuban state security forces positive among them in miami among them posing as just simple refugees when they were not. above all in many ways the book shows that they provided an opportunity to do far more, to do far more than relieving tension on the island. it was an opportunity for the cuban government to influence the internal character and phreut constitutional culture. so my questions for the authors
are three and they're not very complicated complicated. first, how did you get involved and what do you think its lessons are for u.s./cuban relations and secondly with respect to that last among provocative argument made by the book, your book demonstrates that the cuban government used mariel not just to get rid of disabled people and others the cuban government used mariel as a way to consolidate interests for the cuban government. how did that happen? >> ladies and gentlemen -- you can hear me?
shall we try again? at the time of mariel boatlift i owned a convalescent home in miami and my partner was a cuban and seventh day adventist nurse. all were cuban and no one spoke english and provocative i spoke little spanish but we managed. when the visitation started in the late seventies where they could go visit their relatives in cuba and bring clothing and goods and money, we got very involved obviously because our employees were very involved and it was the first time and they wanted to visit their relatives and so we sponsored a lot of them and sent a lot of clothing and sent a lot of money down to the -- to go with them with the families. well, as things progressed and of course everybody was very
excited about that and they thought that was the beginning of opening things up well there were two schools of thought at that point in time and that was you had your cuban community, the pro predominantly white community in miami that really did not want to open relationships with cuba and then you had the people who really did want to go and visit and have open relationships with cuba. so it became a difficult situation. and day by day we watched what was going on. when the cuban embassy -- the agency kind of blew up castro got very upset because the people who broke through the gates -- there was a shooting and a couple of deaths and castro insisted that the embassy
return those refugees to cuba. the embassy refused. castro got very upset with the fact that they would not do this. and he and michael manly and he were very good friends and he made a comment we're going to turn this shit on the united states and that's exactly what they did. america in its own way is naive. what was happening was in the background i had the opportunity to work with someone called perez who provided a great deal of the information in the book. can nar row was a double agent. he was cia and dgi agent who was part of the travel group. he worked with havana tour, one of the travel organizations in miami.
he knew that part of his job was watching all of these people who visited miami and who visited cuba. and they would do a dos yay on everybody. they would figure out how to spend your money and what pushed your buttons. what they were doing what was part of what was comment to be known as the plan that castro sponsored to basically undermine the united states to relieve himself of economic pressure internally. and so how we got involved was one weekend after the votes
started to come, my partner and i volunteered to go down to key west. when we got down to key west we got involved was one weekend after the we met a gentleman named dr. armando cruz, and arturo coco. where we went was an old uso building that was being used for the chamber of commerce for the lower key. the day we got there there was a horrible storm and 3 or 400 people milling around and tons of volunteers in the area. we kind of had a feeling that things were not going well and dr. or hand dough cruz -- he was an archaeologist at one point in time working on doing some okay colorado gist work when he happened upon what appeared to be a storage area or some political things that were going on and was arrested, refused to give his work to castro and what we later discerned from dr. cruz was
that's where they were storing all the missile fuel and missiles were in it fact underground underground. so we met this gentleman and then arturo cobow. eventually we also found was a double agent. he was a c.i.a. agent working with the miami police department elite intelligence unit. so this is my first experience and it's in the chamber and all these volunteers and my partner and i and we helped to sort things out and we saw there weren't very many refugees at the time but we heard things were building up. so we went home. the following tuesday i got a call from the head of the department of health and rehabilitative services dr. jim howl asking if my partner and i could come back down there
because this looked line it was going to be an really big thing and the federal government was not going to get involved and the state wasn't sanctioned so that the state was told that their expenses may not be paid and could my partner and i go down there and coordinate all of the medical services until the federal government could come in and take over. and that's kind of how we got down there. as the days went by, it was actually we were there for 20 days, which is what the book is about, and in that 20 days we processed 32,000 refugees. among those 32,000 refugees, one day arturo came to me and said, i have to tell you about something that happened last night. i said what happened last night? and he said, i detected a spy
that i know and he said i wasn't sure exactly what was going on, but i detected him. his name was rivas. and as it turned out, the jihad been trained by the russians to poison the mississippi. so things started to really get kind of crazy. we had no help at that point from the federal government. the governor had called out the national guard. we had a whole bunch of volunteer doctors down there who had no licenses. so armando -- colonel armando montez who was also a bay of pigs veteran as was coboas was dr. cruz, dr. montez -- or colonel montez got upset and
said we're not too sure if these cuban doctors should be practicing down here. so he went to the navy and the navy gave him a hard time. the governor went to the white house to get permission for the cuban doctors to practice in key west in processing the refugees. then we had a riot. in the riot -- there were about 500 people in this chamber of commerce. by now we know that a lot is going on. so, the riot was because it was -- there was so much confusion about who was going where and there were families around and it was raining we didn't have very much food and they got into a riot. cobow got up on a table and talked about in an impassioned
way, it was his country, like it was their country and they knew very confusing but that he loved his country. and he stood up on the country and sang the cuban national anthem and all those refugees stood and sang with him. well, that settled things for a while and then there was another riot over food. and at that point a priest showed up. once again, things are going on. this is not a simple thing that is happening. a priest showed up and stood on the front of a jeep and he is telling everybody, you know calm down. everything is going to be fine. and that lasted five minutes when a man who was the governor's administrative assistant and basically put in
charge of this whole operation. he went out there and ordered the national guard to go buy all the cigarettes and all the candy he could find and they brought it back and everybody settled for a little while. but then arturo cobow and josé espanola got into an argument, this is not a political issue. he had no right to sing the cuban national anthem and no right to do that and they were going to move to terminate. which is what we did. the what did we learn what was happening at that time? we learned that many of the people who were coming were spies. initially a lot of people came from the embassy and they came from the embassy without their shoes. castro took their shoes because
he didn't want them to take any cuban soil with them. so initially that's what was happening. but also what was happening was with us a captain in the cuban intelligence had been chosen to start the boatlift by fidel castro. one day on wqb a he announced the port was open and anybody could take their boats down there and retrieve their relatives. that started the boatlift. sent my boat down there along with everybody else and of course what we were doing was totally illegal and violation of
u.s. laws. rhett tro spectively we knew he was a cuban agent and my contention what we learned from this was that castro had a plan. the plan, plan a was normalization. when he couldn't get the embargo lifted he opened the gates. did you want to add anything to that? >> yes. a few things. just a few things to explain. he was an agent and the role he played is after the events of
the embassy, because has been explained here when castro removed the guards from the embassy to pressure the embassy to return the people that had crashed into the gate was like saying, okay, you don't give me back those people, then i will take the guards out and you will see that there will be a number of others wanting to get into the embassy. what happened was that the government was pretty surprised to find out that in just a few hours it was said close to 11,000 people were standing like this, there was no space. that's when the peruvian embassy asked for international help to
deal with the situation because they stood their ground and not going to release anyone trying to seek freedom. as you probably know it's part of a latin american tradition not to surrender people who seek refuge in an embassy if they argue and have differences political differences. and so, they asked for help, and a number of other embassies began to help. they began to bring supplies to help. there were people who got caught in the fence and were hurt and eventually this lasted days and days. there were thousands of other people surrounding this place trying to get in but there is no way of getting in. there was no space. eventually they asked for help so that they can send these
people for countries to take the individuals that had gone into the embassy. and ecuador answered and costa rica and panama and venezuela said we're willing to take some of these people. and then of course the whole thing required the negotiations with the cuban government toplt allow them to go. eventually they began to be allowed to go. and of course this was soon playing havoc with the regime and the image of the regime in latin america with people. many of them were black and poor and humble and so the people who supposedly the new men that the revolution had created were voting with their feet. that's where he comes to the
scene. they inviteville sroe what to and a number of people to the country to a house and there's a meeting to discuss what can we do about this? and that's exactly when the idea of -- in factville sroe what says i can help with that. what we need to do is open a port just like -- there was a port back in the early sixties where the cuban government allowed for a number of months four weeks to pick up relatives back in the early sixties. so this idea was accepted by castro andville sroe what went to the radio station.
here's a person who is known within the community and known to be a so-called -- people thought he was on the side of the cuban community and so what happened he went there and we can't look at what's happening because by this time the castro regime had announced they would take all these people and whoever wanted to be cuban to go to a port and be sent there and -- relatives could go and pick up relatives there. that's how it started. villeville went to the radio station and said, our people are suffering. and they don't have enough food and in some cases they're being beaten and abused. we can't allow this. we have to go and pick them up. in fact, he let the first 3, 4
votes to mariel. and of course he was part of the operation when in fact he was given some of the family members and he came back with the family members and that's where the stampede began, even though the u.s. warned it's illegal. you can't just go there and bring whoever you want. that's when the stampede began. a lot of things that happened when family members would get there to get their members, their family, they would be forced to take other people they know. it was that moment when the cuban government goes to many of
the jails and tells some of the common criminals they wanted to be free and live a much better life that they can go to the united states. of course that group eventually was just a very small minority. we think the estimate is maybe 5,000 at the most, 4 or 5,000. they created a lot of havoc in the united states and community. even we think the estimate later when many of them were collected because soon it became clear that some of the people began to identify as common criminals and they were put in jails. you probably know that arkansas they said we have a lot of empty space in our jails. you can bring them here if you don't have a lot of space to
hold them. in fact there was a riot there and the people of arkansas got a little bit upset because people had been placed there. >> excuse me -- >> some people said that cost clinton his governorship when he went for re-election which explains his support later on. the other thing -- just one more. so, while this is going on, they not only went to the jails but they also went to the federal insane asylums and put a number of these people in the boat. so now it's a stampede in 20 days over 30,000 people and at
first the community really opened their arms to this arrival, but as -- it became obvious there were people there those who sought freedom and change in their lives. then the community got to be very upset. on top of that, there were agents that were sent, 3 or 400 of them who began to create problems. i have the experience of my own mother who -- she went to where they were bringing the refugees and she spent there like 3 or 4 days, 12-14 hours helping with providing food and collecting
all sorts of clothing for them. she had an experience that scared her a lot because somebody came close to her and said, you're really enjoying this, right? all the problems that cuba is having and the fact that you're helping the cubans of miami, he spoke in a way that my mother was terribly scared. she went back home and told my father, i sense something today that i wasn't expecting. and she became scared and never returned. and so this is in fact later has an impact in the community because then you see the community sort of retreating a little bit. very concerned because they didn't know who was good or bad. and so we'll see a reaction on
the part of the community, let alone those who were not cuban who couldn't understand this massive onslaught which was really over running all of the social entities that were helping and that's where you're the expert. >> let me just say something to segway into his comment because we don't have a lot of time. but i do think having grown newspaper miami in the 1980s and studying cuba for so long, in many ways there's kind of an urban legend that no one wanted to believe that there would have been 3 to 400 asians among 32,000 in the first 20 day that's arrived. and that they could be folks who would take positions in hospitals or be nurses or your teacher and at the same time might be passing information or
disrupting in ways that are convenient to the castro government normal public discourse or debate or radicalizing the miami exile community and to say it was already radicalized in one be direction everybody knew that. but to make things worse and make things more difficult for cubans to discuss their problems or their views of what was possible in cuba this is an urban legend and something that i think most intellectuals don't want to deny. no, it was part of the deal. it's a revelation and i think it gets a little bit more credibility to what we're undoubtedly voices about how
really nasty the sincenario was and how nasty the cuban government could be when it wanted to create certain imagines that were beneficial total itself. let me pass it on to kate. >> get back to the whole concept of being a plan. it basically started with the travel to cuba and would take a great number of things. we would sew chewing gum and things into garments to get them into cuba. the federal government agencies could not agree with each other. it was an election year. and carter just did not want to hear about it. he was preoccupied with the
iranian hostage crisis but one of the things that castro did, he increased the number of people who couldleave cuba. any pace yos that they had they would convert back into counterfeit money. so we would keep the cash in cuba. he also was so involved -- one i think the worst things and americans would totally were unaware of it, was the power of his intelligence agency. he had the most sophisticated intelligence agency. don't forget, guys, he was sponsored by russia and had so much support and very, very powerful leader. one of the things that happened
a little bit later but our example of not being on top of things was there was a woman by the name of annabel montez who was a senior analyst with the seen department of defense in 1984. when she was hired by the government they found that she had lied and said she had a dock rat degree from john hopkins university and they hired her anyway and she became a senior analyst with the department of defense. imagine what the information what she was doing was skewing information. imagine what skewing the information to the department of defense could do to whatever we were trying to do.
the other part of the plan was drug dealing. there were at the time agreements made between castro and the immediate lean cartel, and the agreements were to use the cuban air space and the cuban water space to deliver drugs. and there's an estimate that at one point as a matter of fact noring a tkpwa was involved. noring a tkpwa paid $10 million to use the cuban air space. while the mariel boatlift was going on which was once again part of castro's plan, while we were watching everybody coming to key west other boats were going beyond this island, a little island up between cuba and the bahamas and the boats
were going and they would fly the cuban flag to know they were friendlies and the mother boat would meet boats from the united states on the other side of the island and shipping drugs to the united states. later on there was an organization that was established by the department of the ministry in cuba that was called mc for marijuana cocaine. huge operation. eventually cuba became threatened its selves when the soviet bloc broke up and there was no more money and no one to support them was when they tried to look at these drugs in cuba. but that plan which perez laid out in the very beginning when we discussed what was happening
and plan p for basically upsetting the cuban community and creating as much difficulty in the united states as they possibly could. on april 14th, finally carter established a blockade. he tried to establish an air lift. castro refused the air lift. that's when he established the blockade. well the second round of flow till la started in july. they weptnt around it. bring it back up to what was happening -- we're about done -- the travel agency. they were all cuban agents that were involved and monitoring
everyone. cuba is now in the process, it has agreements with 32 countries to work against -- drug enter diction. they do not have an agreement with us. thank you everybody. >> we have now less than -- we have 16 minutes to get feedback from the audience. people who would like to ask questions maybe couple people raise their hand and i'll have you stand in the middle. >> something that was important -- >> you can't be heard. >> this was a whole system set up by cuba within the community where they would know exactly the income of the
family their personal issues and whatever, a whole set of individuals that were working in banks, in mental health organizations and that was used in the mariel. people who went up pick up relatives they would often be asked money and they would know how much those families would pay and that was also part of the operation. the more they knew they had money the more they asked for any supplies the boat needed and things like that. and thin the last thing this issue of the running operation with the cartel. later on it came out from was the noring a tkpwa affair and
this was mostly through led der. carlos laid der. so that's it. >> just even the comment about how boats would arrive in the harbor are in the port and relatives would be asked to pick up their relatives, that's something i heard a lot from folks in miami and didn't want to didn't want to believe it. but it's definitely documented. if you have questions please stand up and i'll be happy to receive them. >> thank you for coming tonight. i just have one question. of the hundreds of spies that
came in, does anyone know what happened to them? >> to the best of our knowledge they are still in different parts of our government. unfortunately they infiltrated the highest levels of government thinking about the fact that we had a senior analyst with the department of defense. >> i would say that some of the people have ended up in in jail. we have -- i read the other day that there are quite a number of thousands of cubans that are in american jail that in fact this is part of a process that one would negotiated because the american government wants to return some of its people. and also part of that -- you probably heard of those five
individuals that were just surrendered back to cuba. they were -- there were others that were working within the cuban organization, the cuban-american organizations and a few of those were responsible for providing information to the cuban government that facilitated the bringing down of those two planes of brothers to the rescue, that organization that went through the straits looking for rafters. they claimed they penetrated the cuban air space, but the fact was there was one of those big tourist boats by there and they were under the planes when they saw them being shot down. and so, some of those five individuals that were returned
had to do with that action. >> hi, how are you? i look forward to reading your book. i have two questions. the first question is how did you deal with problematic sources, someone like arturo cobow, former bay of pigs veteran, but he's been to court for drug trafficking charges himself. they said that he was the guy who started mariel and then he said he wasn't the guy who started mariel and then he said he was. theses sources are difficult and i'm interested to see how you address these issues. and then my second question is i think the underlying theme of your book is that it was chaos in your experience and the carter administration didn't respond well to this threat.