‘They need a democracy:’ Cuban exile speaks out amid protests in Central Florida

Protests continued in Orlando on Tuesday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Two days after thousands of Cubans flooded the streets across cities in the island, Ramón Martínez, a native of Cuba said the movement to free the country continues despite the president calling on supporters and the police to confront and detain protestors.

“The people are still taking the street (on Tuesday.) So that’s good news for us. That’s good news for the democracy,” Martínez said. “The regimen was not expecting this.”

After Sunday’s demonstrations, the Cuban government shut down the internet, but Martínez said there are still some internet spots and an application being used to send loved ones the brutality they’re facing.

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“VPN is just an application the Cubans can use to avoid the blockage,” he said “They (are) going to the people’s house; they picking the people.”

Beatriz Hernández, 20, left Cuba when she was 7, but visits frequently, the situation is heartbreaking. Many of her family members still live on the island and she’s seen firsthand the suffering of her people.

“I have family that is sick that needs surgery, that needs medicine, that needs medical help. I have an uncle who has cancer right now and he’s dealing with it at home,” Hernández said.

Martínez and Hernández are among millions of Cubans in exile in the United States. Their voices united demanding freedom from a communist government that has reigned for more than 60 years through demonstrations in several cities across Florida, including Orlando, with hopes a change of government will soon be a reality.

“They need a democracy. They can’t keep living like that. So many people are dying and it’s so inhumane. I’ve seen little children beat by the cops and that’s not ok and it needs to be stopped,” Beatriz said. “We will keep going until we’re finally heard, and America takes action.”

On Tuesday in Orange County, protesters showing their support for the people of Cuba entered the roadway and shut down a portion of Semoran Boulevard near Sedano’s supermarket around 6:30 p.m.

About the Author:

Carolina Cardona highlights all Central Florida has to offer in her stories on News 6 at Nine. She joined News 6 in June 2018 from the Telemundo station in Philadelphia.