Translation: “For Life & Love of your Country”
is how we interpret this new expression going viral, bringing awareness to a situation that can no longer be ignored.
By now, you’ve probably heard the news, watched a few videos on social media, and shared photos of the situation in Cuba. If you’re still a bit confused about what is happening in Cuba, let’s explain it briefly, as well as its impact in Miami.
While hardship and deteriorated living conditions in Cuba are not strange to their citizens, the world crisis derived from Covid has exacerbated their situation. Thousands of Cuban citizens have taken the streets -particularly in Havana -to protest against six decades of lacking essential goods and services. They claim they do not have proper medical attention, and their coronavirus numbers are evidence of it.
The protests have one clear goal in mind: to end a 62 year regime that supports itself in communism. The protests have spread to over 40 cities in the country. Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel called his supporters to arise and take back the streets from protesters, security forces have been deployed, and many protesters have been injured. The island has also suffered from intermittent blackouts and internet shortages, allegedly a strategy from the government to put pressure to cease the demonstrations.
“There’s no food, no medicine, no freedom. They do not let us live.” It is one of the many phrases repeated by people in the streets -no longer afraid of the consequences.
Protesters also blame the US embargo against Cuba for their shortage of goods. If you remember this, since 1960, the United States imposed a ban on exports to Cuba. This agreement prevents American businesses -and every other country with commercial activity with the US -from conducting trade with Cuban interests. The Trump administration tightened such measures.
What’s happening in Miami?
The Miami area has long been home to the most significant number of Cuban exiled and emigrated. Miami has also been a critical point of anti-Castro sentiment. Cubans living in Miami have shown their support for their fellow countrymen, with many family members still living on the island. The blackout and arbitrary arrests are some of the epitomes of dictatorship, and exiled Cubans warn about such practices.
Gutierrez-Boronat, of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, said this during a news conference in Miami-Dade County:
“We are asking for the international community led by the United States to intervene, to protect the Cuban people from a bloodbath and to bring this regime to an end.”
US President Biden released a statement on the matter on Monday: “The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves.”
Protests in the Miami area erupted on Tuesday as over five thousand demonstrators took the streets waving Cuban flags. Miami police shut down Southwest Eighth Street from 32nd Avenue to 37th Avenue as the crowds multiplied. The protests in Miami have been peaceful, and as of today, no one has been injured.
Demonstrators have also expressed their desire to travel by boat to the island to carry food, medical supplies, and even guns to help the protesters in Cuba. In Miami, the United States Coast Guard is monitoring any activity aimed at increasing “unsafe and illegal” crossings between Florida and Cuba.
Our hearts are with those suffering in Cuba, and we sincerely hope matters get resolved, and they acquire the peace and well-being every citizen deserves: Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Featured by by @mamboscubanexpress on Instagram