Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and several city commissioners are joining with owners of a local restaurant to launch a campaign to help refugees fleeing the violence in Ukraine.
Suarez, along with Commissioners Ken Russell, Joe Carollo and Manolo Reyes, and the owners of Baires Grill in Miami, announced the effort at a news conference Tuesday.
"Today our Ukrainian brothers and sisters desperately need our help," Suarez said.
Suarez said the campaign will help 50 refugees with transportation, housing and finding employment in the restaurants after leaving their homeland.
"When our world faces hard times, Miami has always come together to receive with arms wide open those seeking a new home or a shelter," Suarez said.
South Florida has shown its support for Ukraine in the days since Russian soldiers invaded the county.
Dozens gathered in front of the Cuban Memorial at Tamiami Park last Sunday for a rally in support. The rally was organized by the Assembly of Cuban Resistance.
“We gathered here today in a community rally to support Ukraine’s right to self-rule,” one attendee said. “Ukraine’s right to have their democratic sovereignty because their individual freedom depends on that.”
The plight in Ukraine feels familiar to many exiles who attended the rally.
“The Ukrainians are fighting for the same thing that Cubans, Nicaraguans, Venezuelans. For the right to rule themselves, the right to be free, the right to decide in their own nation,” another attendee said.
"This is something that is very dear to our hearts. Our people have suffered and we are seeing the people of Ukraine suffering right now,” a rally goer said. “When I see the children, the mothers. When I see the elderly people, my heart breaks. It’s like we are all Ukraine."
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