ORLANDO, Fla. – After nearly one week, historic anti-government protests continue in Cuba and throughout Florida.
More local rallies for Cuba were planned in Central Florida, including one at Lake Eola in downtown Orlando and another at Kissimmee Lake Front Park Saturday afternoon.
News 6 spoke with protestors in downtown Orlando who said they are committed to getting their message across and continue to raise awareness for what’s going on in Cuba. The goal is to pressure countries like the U.S. and its allies to get involved in some capacity to assist those in Cuba whose voices, according to protestors, have been silenced.
“I think the pandemic teetered the cup because they had no medicine, people were dying on hospitals. I got news from family there that there was one hospital that lost 18 people in one day because the power went out because of money and they died over the smallest thing,” said Lisangra Morena, a protestor at Lake Eola.
Cuba has been struggling with food shortages and COVID-19 under the communist party’s 62-year dictatorship. In Cuba, protests began Sunday when thousands of Cubans marched on Havana’s Malecon promenade and elsewhere to protest food and medicine shortages, power outages and some even calling for political change, according to the Associated Press.
After these demonstrations, the Cuban government shut down the internet. Much of the conversation in the political realm has centered around the idea of the U.S. assisting Cuba in providing access to the internet. Internet access was restored in Cuba earlier this week, but, as of Thursday, cellphone data was still not fully restored.
President Joe Biden weighed in and said there are a number of things the U.S. would consider doing, such as remittances, but added that he wants to be sure the Cuban government won’t take advantage.
When protests began in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to stay off of roads and highways.
“We can’t have that. It’s dangerous for you to be shutting down a thoroughfare. You’re also putting other people in jeopardy. You don’t know if an emergency vehicle needs to get somewhere, and then obviously it’s just disrespectful to make people stand in traffic,” the governor told reporters during a press conference in Miami.