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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Florida Awaits Cuban

MIAMI ( -- Florida officials have been planning a statewide drill to prepare for a potential immigration emergency after Cuba threatened to unleash a flood of refugees upon U.S. shores.

"Florida is prepared to meet its responsibilities to protect our people and our communities from the potential impact of an immigration crisis," Governor Lawton Chiles said Monday.

After at least three hijackings of Cuban ferries in the past two weeks, and clashes between protesters and police in Havana, Cuban leader Fidel Castro threatened to unleash a repeat of the 1980 Mariel boatlift when some 125,000 Cuban refugees travelled to southern Florida over a period of months.