cuba protests

After a Week of Protests, Multiple Events Across South Florida in Support of Cuban Protests

Organizers are encouraging all members of the Miami community to join

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After a week of protests and rallies, residents across South Florida continue to show their support for the anti-government protests in Cuba with events scheduled Sunday across both Miami-Dade and Broward counites.

In Little Havana, two different demonstrations convened at the same spot near SW 13th Ave and 8th Street.

The "Estamos Contigo" Cuba march started at the Jose Marti Memorial at 861 Southwest 13th Avenue in Miami and participants walked to the Little Havana mural.

Most were Venezuelans who say they stand with the Cuban people calling for an end to the authoritarian regime.

They say Communism in the hemisphere was essentially exported out of Cuba and now countries like Venezuela and Nicaragua also have totalitarian regimes.

“Our fight as Venezuelans is also the fight with Cuba against the regime," Venezuelan protester Erik Suarez said.

The other group mobilizing for change on the island nation is “Students for a Free Cuba." This organization was founded about a year ago by high school and college students.

They say older generations have fought for freedom for more than 60 years and now it is time for the youth to stand together and carry the torch.

“We all share that common goal of wanting to bring the youth’s perspective and drive for change to Cuba and the Cuban cause,” Gabriela Gutierrez of Students for a Free Cuba said.

In Tropical Park, a family friendly 'Niños For Cuba' rally took place.

“Being able to do this, it's great," teacher Daniella Salgado, who organized the event said. "It’s great so that the kids there can watch this and say, oh my gosh, there’s somebody who sees me, somebody who wants this for us.”

Young rallygoer Leilani Ruiz shared the sentiment.

“I want kids to know they’re not alone to support Cuba and help them,” Ruiz said.

In Pembroke Pines, supporters gathered outside the Sergio’s Cuban Restaurant.

"They're protesting because they don't have a voice," one protester in Pembroke Pines said. "They go out to peacefully protest and they're killed, so it's time for this regimen to end."

Saturday, a land and sea rally for Cuba took place at the Freedom Tower on Biscayne Boulevard. Miami Police had closed off Biscayne Boulevard from Northeast 6th Street to 8th Street to traffic.

NBC 6's Kim Wynne is at the Freedom Tower, where many prominent Cuban artists raised their voice for a free Cuba.

Several artists appeared at the rally to raise their voices as they stand in solidarity with the Cuban people fighting for freedom on the island.

“We need intervention,” protestor David Jover, who immigrated from the island nation, said. “That’s my message. It’s only gotten worse since I left.”

Since protests erupted on the island, internet has been down or spotty. Jover says he can’t reach his family there.

“I don’t even know if my family and my friends are okay,” he said. “What am I supposed to do with this? This is the only thing I can do.”

Ileana Quincosa can’t reach her family either.

“They’re killing them,” Quincosa said. “They’re mutilating them. They’re silencing them. They’re telling them if they speak up, they will kill them.”

“We’re free to speak, but they are not,” protestor Maritza Parrios-Pereira said. “So, I have to come here and do it for them.”

Videos were played during the rally, showing police in Cuba arresting people in their homes and on the streets. Protestors also took to the water with a smaller rally held behind the FTX Arena.

The Freedom Tower has stood as a symbol of hope and freedom in Miami for many immigrants who once sought citizenship in South Florida.

“You will see images that we’ve gotten access to from people in Cuba,” he said. “You will hear voice notes of people in Cuba talking directly to the exile community, talking to the international community and to all of their brothers and sisters out here — whoever can be an echo for their cry for liberty.”

Organizers are encouraging all members of the Miami community to join.

Nearly 300 people boarded buses in Grapeland Park on Friday and headed to Washington, D.C to bring a “show of love” for the cause of Cuban freedom.

Once in Washington, D.C., protesters marched to the Cuban Embassy, joined by other Cuban-American protesters from across the country to rally and then moved to the White House in the afternoon.

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