Protesters in Miami Block Highway in Support of Cuba
By Briasia Russ
Tuesday evening, supporters came together for a peaceful protest with their flags and cheers. Coming to the U.S at the age of one, 16-year-old Flavia Pérez was in support of the protest.
“I’m here to support young Cubans on the island so they have the same opportunities as I have in the U.S,” Pérez said.
As the people of Miami take to the streets to protest for freedom in Cuba, they are subject to felony charges under @GovRonDeSantis and Florida GOP's "anti-riot" law which also grants civil immunity to drivers who ram them with their cars #BecauseFlorida: https://t.co/xWWk1tyodP pic.twitter.com/1qBI5Crdmo
— Billy Corben (@BillyCorben) July 12, 2021
As protestors gathered to rally, traffic was blocked that afternoon. According to ABC News, Governor Ron DeSantis united with officials to discuss Cuba’s lack of access to basic items. “They are revolting against a corrupt communist dictatorship that has ruled that island with an iron fist for over 60 years, that is responsible for death and destruction, not just on the island of Cuba but really throughout the Western Hemisphere,” DeSantis said.
After he signed a Florida law that penalizes protestors who become violent, DeSantis made it clear that last year’s Black Lives Matter protest is dissimilar to the Cuba protest.
“These are people that are rebelling against a communist dictatorship,” DeSantis said. “The demonstrations in Miami were fundamentally different than what we saw last summer.”
Cuban-Americans in Tampa and Orlando also decided to support the protest by gathering at an intersection where they also blocked traffic. Citizens are also accepting food and water donations and organizing a 10-hour boat ride to Cuba.
The U.S Coast Guard in Miami have been closely monitoring the protest to avoid unsafe and illegal crossings.