WPR Reports "WPR Reports" features in-depth investigations from Wisconsin Public Radio. The current season, "Uprooted," retraces the experiences of the nearly 15,000 Cuban refugees who were sent to Wisconsin's Fort McCoy after the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 and examines the lives of those who have made Wisconsin home. It debuts in October 2022.
WPR Reports

WPR Reports

From Wisconsin Public Radio

"WPR Reports" features in-depth investigations from Wisconsin Public Radio. The current season, "Uprooted," retraces the experiences of the nearly 15,000 Cuban refugees who were sent to Wisconsin's Fort McCoy after the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 and examines the lives of those who have made Wisconsin home. It debuts in October 2022.

Most Recent Episodes

Uprooted, Ep. 8: Cuba is Calling

The Cuban exiles who arrived in Wisconsin in 1980 as part of the Mariel Boatlift have become family to one another. They are Wisconsinites. But their hearts remain in Cuba, and they want to visit their homeland one more time - if they can find a way.

Uprooted, Ep. 7: Crime and Adversity

Some Mariel refugees made questionable decisions while adjusting to life in the Midwest in the 1980s. They've all faced discrimination. And all of them have tried to move forward as their pasts continue to haunt them.

Uprooted, Ep. 6: Becoming a Wisconsinite

The Cubans who immigrated to the United States during the Mariel Boatlift have left Fort McCoy. Some found homes in Wisconsin and got jobs. Some started families. But first, they had to find sponsors.

Uprooted, Ep. 5: A New Home at Fort McCoy

Fort McCoy was one of four U.S. military installations that housed Cuban refugees after the Mariel Boatlift in 1980. Almost 15,000 Cubans lived there that summer and fall while waiting to connect with family members or find sponsors.

Uprooted, Ep. 4: The Mariel Boatlift

People who left Cuba to come to the United States as part of the Mariel Boatlift in 1980 share their experiences of traveling across the sea and their first memories stepping ashore in Florida.

Uprooted, Ep. 3: Failed Dreams and Embassy Breaks

The Cuban revolution promised people a better life: free health care, schools and subsidized housing for everyone. But this came at a cost - and some weren't willing to pay the price. So they began leaving the country in the 1960s, and it all came to a head in 1980.

Uprooted, Ep. 3: Failed Dreams and Embassy Breaks

Uprooted, Ep. 2: Youth Lost to a Revolution

When Fidel Castro took control of Cuba in 1959, some feared the shift to communism and left almost right away. Decades later, the changes brought on by the revolution would also lead to almost 15,000 Cuban refugees coming to Wisconsin as part of the Mariel Boatlift of 1980.

Uprooted, Ep. 2: Youth Lost to a Revolution

Uprooted, Ep. 1: From Cuba to Oktoberfest

Enrique More has roots in La Crosse. He's been a part of the city's music scene for decades, most notably playing with Mr. Blink. Wisconsin is his home. But it didn't feel much like home when he first got here, when he was one of a handful of Cubans to settle in La Crosse after arriving in 1980 as part of the Mariel Boatlift.

Introducing: Uprooted

In 1980, nearly 15,000 Cuban refugees were sent to Fort McCoy in Wisconsin. They left their homes as part of the Mariel boatlift mass exodus. In this podcast, meet the Cubans who stayed in Wisconsin and find out what their lives have been like as they live in legal limbo.

Derailed: Bonus Episode

Because the story of "Derailed" happened over the course of decades, there's a lot there, and a lot we didn't get to. Some of it, like Gov. Jim Doyle's role in ending the train, is still discussed today. Other stuff, like the 2016 Olympics connection, seems to have been lost to history. Here are some of the questions we didn't get to in "Derailed."