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Today in history: Jimmy Carter talks to Cuba
It didn't go well
 
Friends and relatives of Cuban refugees line the dock in Key West, Fla., in the spring of 1980.
Friends and relatives of Cuban refugees line the dock in Key West, Fla., in the spring of 1980. (AP Photo)

March 24, 1949: President Truman approves $16 million in aid for Palestinian refugees who were displaced following Israel's war of independence.

March 24, 1977: Making good on a 1976 campaign promise, President Jimmy Carter authorized direct diplomatic talks with communist Cuba. But the U.S.-Cuban talks went nowhere, resulting in nasty words between Washington and Havana — and the 1980 Mariel boat lift, in which Cuba's Communist leader, Fidel Castro authorized the emigration of more than 100,000 Cubans to Florida. The exodus eventually hurt Carter when it was discovered that Castro used the boat lift to ship prison inmates and patients from Cuban mental hospitals. The Mariel boat lift was subsequently ended by mutual agreement between the two governments in October 1980.

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"The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly." -Abraham Lincoln

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