MIAMI (WSVN) – It’s been one year since people in South Florida and in Cuba demanded better living conditions on the island in what were the most widespread protests since the revolution.
To commemorate that movement, several events are planned throughout South Florida, Monday.
“It’s ongoing. This is not something that stayed a year in the past. That uprising continues,” said Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat of the Assembly of Cuban Resistance.
One event was held in Little Havana at the Bay of Pigs Museum where state leaders spoke on the protests that took place last year.
“Hundreds of thousands of Cubans were marching on the streets, and they weren’t asking for medicines, and they weren’t asking for vaccines, they weren’t asking for food. They were asking for liberty, that’s it. Freedom, that’s what they wanted,” said U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez.
Several lawmakers commemorated an unprecedented uprising in Cuba one year ago when thousands of Cubans spontaneously took to the streets to protest the communist government amid a worsening economic situation, lack of food, medicine, all on top of the COVID-19 outbreak.
The people were calling for Cuba’s president, Miguel Diaz Canel, to step down.
Many of those that participated in the protests were jailed.
“More than 550 peaceful protesters have been sentenced to collectively 4,000 years in prison,” said U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.
The movement in Cuba also sparked protests in Miami.
“We hear you. We feel you. We stand with you,” said a woman.
“Miedo has gone away. The fear has gone away,”said a protester. “They’re strong. They know that there’s a better life.”
Through the scorching heat and rain, hundreds took to the streets, and they even shutdown the busy Palmetto Expressway to demonstrate for Cuba.
“These people are asking for liberty. These people are willing to go to Cuba and die,” said a protester.
These protests spread across the country, including Washington D.C., where people gathered in front of the White House and marched.
The protesters asked the Biden Administration to intervene in Cuba.
“I came all the way from Nebraska to tell the whole world we need help. We need Biden to do something for us,” said a protester.
On Monday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said the following, “We’re deeply disappointed that in the year that has passed, this administration has done absolutely nothing on the issue of Cuba. The person in charge of Cuba policy at the State Department was coordinating congressional trips to Cuba just a few years ago and was a key architect behind the Obama failed policy toward Cuba.”
“Don’t make any more concessions. Work with the Europeans and the Canadians to stop the money flow to the repression in Cuba, cause it’s resulting in a genocide,” said Gutierrez-Boronat.
More events are scheduled in South Florida, which included a plan to walk from Cafe Versailles down Southwest Eighth Street to the Bay of Pigs Memorial. That was supposed to start at 6 p.m., but’s unclear if that demonstration will happen.
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