Cuban-American protesters take to streets of Miami Lakes

Drivers honked their horns in support of the Cuban-Americans protesting Thursday morning at the intersection of Northwest 154th Street and Northwest 82nd Avenue in Miami Lakes.

“We’ve suffered for so long and we are here to represent our families and everyone who is still stuck in Cuba who has not been able to have at least the basic necessities of life,” protest organizer Vanessa Wong said.

The rally comes a day after protesters in Miami marched for 5 miles in a demonstration of unity toward the civil unrest in Cuba.

“What’s going on on the island is really bad,” one man said. “If people go online and look for it, you’re going to see (it) all. They’re pulling kids out of houses, how they’re beating up people in the street for no reason.”

Demonstrators on Wednesday began their march at Cafe Versailles in Little Havana.

They ended up downtown at the Freedom Tower, a landmark considered the “Ellis Island of the South” for its role in the 1960s and 1970s as the U.S. Cuban Assistance Center, which offered relief to refugees who sought political asylum from Fidel Castro’s regime.

“This is the Freedom Tower, and it represents freedom,” one man said. “Most of the people, when they first came here, when the first exiles (came) in the ’60s, this is where they came. This is where they came to get their paperwork and stuff done.”

Activists say Cubans are tired of the communist-run government and want political change.

They’re dealing with shortages of food, medicine and COVID-19 vaccines, as well as power outages and internet connection problems amid a worsening economy.

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