Anti-government protests break out in Cuba (includes video story)

All across the island of Cuba have some of the biggest protests against the regime in decades recently sparked.

Many Cubans in Miami and the island alike went out to demand change, mainly in response to a lack of civil rights and worsening living conditions– particularly in the healthcare system that has been further impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Miguel Saavedra is the president of the human rights organization Vigilia Mambisa, which was present at the Little Havana protest. He spoke of the health crisis that Cuba is currently facing.

“The people of Cuba at this moment are dying in the street because of COVID-19,” said Saavedra in Spanish. “There is no medicine, no food, and there is the repression of tyranny.”

Videos of protests across the island have taken social media by storm. In some of them, people are heard asking for liberty or access to medical aid and supplies like the COVID-19 vaccine. According to Saavedra, the youth is at the heart of this movement.

“We always said that what would save Cuba was not the international forces or foreign governments. What will save it is the Cuban youth who are the revelation of the Cuban exile,” he said. “They will give the contrast to the situation and are the ones that will cause what is happening now– a national rebellion.”

City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who is of Cuban descent, made an appearance at the Little Havana protest. He was showing his support for the Cuban people and made a statement about the situation on the island.

“Never in the history of Cuba have we seen the courage that we are seeing in the Cubans who are on the streets in masses in 15 different cities throughout the island,” he said in Spanish.

Suarez then went to Twitter to say, “The Cuban regime’s military police are shooting at unarmed Cuban protestors fighting for freedom. 60 years of communism, cruelty, & oppression cannot last any longer! We are imploring the USA to take action as we peacefully demonstrate on the streets of Miami.”

Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava also made an appearance at the protest and took to Twitter to say, ”We stand united with the Cuban people on the island and across our community at this historic moment in the struggle for freedom, dignity and basic human rights– may their courageous actions bring about real change and move us closer to the dream of a free Cuba.”

The Cuban people have been calling for an end to the regime for over 60 years. They are hoping that their island will soon be free.

Helen Acevedo is an FIU student majoring in broadcast media with a minor in political science and international relations. She is passionate about giving people a platform to tell their truths.