Conflicts & War

Miami Cubans keep attention on protests in island nation

Miami, US, Jul 14 (EFE).- The Cuban community in South Florida kept attention on the situation in Cuba Wednesday with new requests for the United States government to act and concerts in support of demonstrations on and outside the island.

The song “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life), an anthem of change for Cuba, resounded live on Calle Ocho in Little Havana, and Gente de Zona artists Alexander Delgado and Randy Malcom embraced the audience in an emotional concert.

Spanish-language channels in southern Florida, some of which have special programs dedicated to the situation in Cuba, received new images of the repression that the Cuban government unleashed against the participants in the protests that broke out on June 11 in San Antonio de los Baños and spread across the island.

Cuban American senator Marco Rubio told Fox New that the Cuban government “shut off the internet so we don’t know how many people are out there… we don’t know how many people have died, we don’t know how many people have been seriously injured, we don’t know how many people have been arrested. We know reports of hundreds of people that have vanished.”

Republican and Democratic politicians reiterated their calls to President Joseph Biden to act to help the Cuban people.

At a press conference in Tampa, where there is also a Cuban community and there have been demonstrations in support of the protests, Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor said that the communist regime has “failed” its people and urged the US to support the Cuban people.

“Today I am calling for peaceful transfer of power on the island of Cuba,” she said.

At the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki described the “violent crackdown” against the protesters as “unacceptable” and said recent days will “obviously have an impact on how we proceed” on policy towards Cuba and that the administration will seek to “encourage a change in approach” of the Cuban government.

Rubio denounced that in the meantime the regime “continues its violence against the Cuban people demanding freedom.”

The Republican, who posted to Twitter a video in which several men are seen beating another, said that he continues to receive “horrifying” accounts of abuses on the island, despite the blocking of mobile phones and the internet.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis wrote to Biden on Wednesday asking him to provide internet access to Cuba and said many Floridians born on the island do not have information about the safety of their loved ones.

“I urge you to act immediately to provide all necessary authorizations, indemnifications, and funding to American businesses with the capability to provide Internet access for the people of Cuba. Steps must be taken immediately,” he added.

On the fourth day since the outbreak of the protests, those in Miami chose between a prayer vigil at the Hermitage of the Virgen de la Caridad or a concert by artists who created “Patria y Vida” at Versailles restaurant, a meeting point for exiled Cubans.

A member of the artist collective, the singer and actor Yotuel, praised at a press conference those who raised their voices with “courage.”

As communications through social networks and the internet are blocked, it is essential that Cubans outside of the country draw attention to what is happening by flooding social media with all the information they can obtain, he stressed.

The protests on the island began Sunday, after which the government of President Miguel Díaz-Canel cut the internet, reinforced police control and accused the US of financing the demonstrations, which according to official sources has left one dead and dozens to hundreds detained. EFE


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