TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Thousands of people took to the streets in Cuba on Sunday to push back against communist rule. In support, crowds of protesters gathered on Dale Mabry Highway and later moved to Al Lopez Park in Tampa to stand in solidarity with Cuba.
“It’s time for the Castro regime to go. We don’t want them anymore. They need to be out,” said Mike Rangel, a Tampa protester.
Demonstrators told 8 On Your Side they’re tired of watching Cuba suffer under the hands of the current dictatorship. It’s a system that’s been in place for decades.
“I have family and friends. I feel for them. I hurt for them. Many out here are hurting for them,” said Maria de Los Angeles Pimentel.
Cuba has been experiencing a worsening economic crisis, which their government blames on U.S. sanctions and the pandemic. Many of these protesters said it’s because of the island’s leadership.
“Police kill people for no reason. Just for thinking different. People get killed every day. They’re dying. They don’t have food. They don’t have medicine. They don’t have nothing,” said one Tampa protester.
This is why thousands are taking a stand against the old regime. Rangel said he’s never witnessed an uprising like this in his lifetime.
“I’m Cuban, and I came here when I was 12 years old. I’ve been here almost 25 years of my life, and I think this is the first time that I’ve actually seen Cubans out there claiming freedom,” he said.
He hopes these demonstrations can garner support from other countries.