Cuban protests

Son of Top Cuban Advisor Living in Miami Speaks After Tweets Spark Controversy

On July 16, as part of a tweet, he included "long live #Fidel"

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A South Florida man has come under fire for his statements on social media supporting the Cuban government -- and a photo of him with Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel.

In a tweet on July 11, the day of the widespread protests on the island calling for freedom, Rodolfo Davalos, who is the son of a top legal advisor to the Cuban government, posted, "if the revolution falls you will find me in Cuba with my father, knee on the ground, rifle in hand, defending the work of Fidel."

On July 16, as part of a tweet, he included "long live #Fidel."

In an interview with NBC 6, Davalos said that did not mean he supports communism.

"That's a wrong assumption. I do not believe in any kind of socialist ideals. I do not believe in any communist ideals. I stand against war and supporting people that is not willing (to go) to war which apparently is the Cuban government right now." Davalos said.

Davalos says he has received about 200 death threats for his comments.

Social media users have been sharing the photo and saying he is Cuban leader Diaz-Canel's son, but he is not.

Davalos’ father, Rodolfo Davalos Sr., is President of the Cuban Court of Arbitration on the island.

Davalos said he has been in touch with his father many times advocating for change on the island.

"I'm paying a huge toll for doing that," he said.

Davalos Jr. told NBC 6 he is a U.S. resident and that he was part of a State Department task force where he advised Secretary of State Rex Tillerson as well as the Obama administration regarding relations with Cuba.

Davalos said despite the recent protests in Cuba he would not call on Cuban leader Diaz-Canel to step down.

“I don't think it is the right moment. I think it is something for the Cuban people to choose," he said.

Davalos said videos of people protesting on the streets shouting for freedom from dictatorship is more about them wanting better living conditions on the island nation.

“The data that I have is people screaming for food and things like that, and shortage on the island," he said.

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