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Florida welcomes Caribbean Basin scholarship students

Nine students from Caribbean Basin countries arrived last week in Florida to take advantage of state-financed college scholarships intended to compete with similar programs offered by communist nations.

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''It is a statement that we are concerned about the future leadership of this region,'' Gov. Bob Graham told the students Saturday. They are from Costa Rica, Panama, and Haiti, and represent a variety of majors, including agriculture, architecture, and computer science.

Mr. Graham cited 1983 State Department statistics showing communist-bloc countries have provided 9,000 foreign-study scholarships for Caribbean basin students, while the United States offered about 700 such opportunities.

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