“In the 1980s the focus of friction in U.S.-Cuban relations shifted to include immigration, as well as Cuba’s international engagements, when a migration crisis unfolded. In April [15] 1980 an estimated ten thousand Cubans stormed the Peruvian embassy in Havana seeking political asylum. Eventually, the Cuban government allowed 125,000 Cubans to illegally depart for the United States from the port of Mariel, an incident known as the ‘Mariel boatlift.’ A number of criminals and mentally ill persons were involuntarily included.”

“U.S.-Cuba Relations,” Department of State website, November 15, 1999