A staggering economic crisis in Cuba made worse by the coronavirus pandemic is spurring local celebrities and artists to speak out, demanding an end to food shortages and high prices that are plaguing the island.
Thousands of demonstrators have been protesting Cuba's communist dictatorship since Sunday, calling for the removal of President Miguel Díaz-Canel amid a severe lack of resources during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We are fed up with the queues, the shortages. That’s why I’m here,” one middle-age protester told The Associated Press. He declined to identify himself for fear of being arrested later.
Rallies have been held from Havana’s Malecon promenade to the streets of Little Havana in South Florida. Several public figures and celebrities are voicing their support for Cuba on social media using the hashtag #SOSCuba.
Here are some of the celebrities and public figures who are speaking out.
The Cuban-American rapper, singer and businessman posted a passionate video message on Twitter calling on the international community to help Cuba amid the escalating crisis.
"We need to stand up, step up, but if you don't understand what's going on you need to wake the [expletive] up," Pitbull, or Armando Christian Pérez, said.
"Bottom line is, this is about taking action," he continued.
The rapper, who is from Miami, called on world allies and global businesses to help the Cuban people, also expressing his frustration at not being able to directly help Cuban people himself.
"It gets me hot, it bothers me and it frustrates me to a certain extent being a Cuban American, and having a platform to speak to the world and not being able to help my own people," he said.
"Not being able to get them food, not being able to get them water, not being able to get them medicine. But most of all not being able to help, and really get them what they deserve which is freedom."
Pitbull said his video was his message to the world to garner help for the island. Watch the full video below.
The Miami Marlins, Miami Heat
The Miami Marlins hung a Cuban flag in the baseball stadium at LoanDepot Park, posting a photo of the show of solidarity on Instagram with the hashtag #SOSCuba. The Miami Heat also shared a photo supporting the island on Instagram.
The Marlins posted the message "Patria Y Vida," after the slogan became a rallying cry for Cuban protesters. The phrase, which is a spin on the communist regime's decades-old motto of "patria o muerte" — 'homeland or death,' has been transformed into a song that has become the backdrop to the unprecedented protests that have erupted across the island.
The Cuban-American singer and songwriter took to Instagram to share her support for Cubans protesting the government, saying: "The Cuban people are reaching their breaking point! I stand with them as I always have!"
Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Fla. She shared a video of protesters chanting along with her message of solidarity.
Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello posted a picture of a black square on Instagram with the hashtag #SOSCUBA, asking her social media followers to help spread awareness to the humanitarian crisis in Cuba.
"Deaths from COVID are rising rapidly and because of the lack of medicine, resources, basic necessities and even, food many people are dying," she wrote. "Right now, there are simultaneous protests in more than 5 cities in Cuba. Our brave people took the streets to protest for this humanitarian crisis and the people of Cuba need our help urgently."
Read her full post below.
Eva Mendes echoed Camila Cabello's sentiment, reposting her "fellow hermana Cubana," or Cuban sister, on Instagram. The now-retired American actress was born in Miami.
The president and CEO of iHeartLatino changed his profile picture to the "SOS CUBA" call-to-action image and posted a strong message in solidarity with the Cuban community.
"They are wrong if they think that by repressing the #Cubans they will shut up. We Cubans are tired of living under your communist boot. Proud of all those who protested and are going to continue protesting. There is no going back!!" he wrote.
Daddy Yankee showed his support for Cuba by simply posting #SOSCuba on Twitter. The message was retweeted more than 6,000 times.
Known throughout the world as the creator of Miami Sound, the Grammy award-winning musician posted about Cuba on Instagram, saying: Viva Cuba Libre! Abajo la dictadura!" or "Long live a Free Cuba! Down with the dictatorship!"
Watch his video message below.
Los Pichy Boys
The Cuban YouTube personalities posted about Cuba on Instagram, tagging President Joe Biden alongside a post that read: "They are Killing us !!! Please do something !!