Nevada Appeal at 150: Nov. 2, 1965: Refugees fleeing Cuba | NevadaAppeal.com

Nevada Appeal at 150: Nov. 2, 1965: Refugees fleeing Cuba

Stormy weather struck today in the Florida Straits corridor for Cuban refugees trying to reach Key West, and Prime Minister Fidel Castro was reported to have stopped further departures because of the dangerous seas.

Nearly 400 men, women and children arrived on the heels of a federal government pledge that the nation, not Florida alone, would help them find new homes.

The Coast Guard cutter McCullough, sent to Key West from Boston for rescue duty, brought nearly 300 refugees, some of them picked up in dramatic rescues. Ten small boats, some in tow, brought more than 100 others.

Winds of more than 30 miles an hour whipped the 90-mile waterway between Cuba and Key West with 10-foot seas, reported Comdr. Frank Barnett, captain of the McCullough. He said he was told Cuba had stopped further exits because of the worsening weather. After the refugees were taken off at Key West, the McCullough headed back to sea.

“If there are any boats out now, they will need help,” Barnett said.

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.