20 Years After the 1994 Cuban Raft Exodus

Two decades ago, in the midst of rioting and anti-government protests in Cuba, Fidel Castro announced that 'whoever wanted to leave, could go'—indicating that his forces would not prevent refugees from fleeing the country. More than 35,000 took the opportunity to leave, most heading to the United States. Men, women, and children packed into small boats and makeshift rafts and set off for Florida in the largest exodus from Cuba since the 1980 Mariel Boatlift. Reuters photographer Enrique de la Osa recently caught up with some of those 1994 refugees in Miami, photographing them at work and at home in their new country, 20 years later.

An earlier version of this photo essay misattributed a photo. The credit has been corrected.

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