Many local efforts to help Ukraine are underway.
The Miami Medical Team and the Cuban Municipalities in Exile, with the collaboration of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, are collecting items to send to the Polish border, where many of the refugees escaping Ukraine are landing.
The groups collected food, medicine, and clothes at 4610 Northwest 7th Street in Miami. Saturday's event lasted until 3 p.m., and the organization says they will be taking donations until further notice.
“Their struggle is our struggle,” Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance said.
Cuban exiles say they notice similarities between the current situation in Ukraine and what their island nation has endured for decades.
“The regime in power in Cuba is the foremost ally of the Russian Federation in the western hemisphere and in Cuba we are experiencing the same kind of repression and oppression that the people of Ukraine are trying to resist and are trying to fight against. This is a fight for freedom. This is a fight for life of Ukraine and it’s a fight for the right to self-determine their own destiny,” Gutiérrez-Boronat said.
Gutierrez-Boronat said the people in Cuba who say they support Russia’s invasion do not represent the sentiment of Cubans as a whole.
“There’s been so many people in Cuba who have risked oppression, who have made an effort in spite of the counter oppression there is in Cuba, to let the Ukrainians know that we stand with them,” he said.
The groups are collecting everything from canned foods to medicine, blankets and coats for refugees, as well as first aid supplies to the people inside Ukraine fighting the Russian invasion that started about a month ago.
The supplies will be shipped to the Ukrainian embassy in Washington, D.C. and sent to where it’s needed most.
“Those spare items that you have at home, that’s really important to keep them warm and keep the refugees comfortable, and keep the soldiers strong and healthy,” Kiele Cabrera of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance said.
Cabrera says no donation is too big or too small for this cause.
“Everything and anything is welcome,” she said. “These small items, these canned things that we have laying around in our pantry could mean the difference between life and death.”
The group says they’ll continue their efforts until the nation is stable and the war has stopped. Call 305-477-8866 for more information on how you can contribute.