‘SOS Cuba’: Demonstrators supporting Cuban protests attempt to get on I-275 in Tampa

Hillsborough County

TAMPA (WFLA) – Demonstrators attempted to get on I-275 near North Dale Mabry Highway Tuesday evening as protests continued throughout Tampa in solidarity with the Cuban people rising up against the communist regime.

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Cuba since Sunday to push back against communist rule.

Over the weekend, all across Cuba, thousands of people turned out to protest their countries economy, a lack of food, and the way their government has handled the pandemic.

Demonstrators told 8 On Your Side they’re tired of watching Cuba suffer under the hands of the current dictatorship.

Tampa Attorney Ralph Fernandez has been involved in Cuban government opposition for many years and is worried the Cuban Government will crack down harshly on protesters there.

“Eventually, after the cut off all communications to the outside world, which they will, they’ll be able to retaliate in the sophisticated fashion that these regimes are exercising,” said Fernandez.

He says it is becoming difficult to find out what is going on in the country because the government shut down the internet.

“I don’t think the publication of the bloodshed that is sure to follow and likewise the massive incarceration,” said Fernandez.

He also believes the protests will have a lasting impact.

“Cubans have now seen what the outside world is like and could be in Cuba that’s what I say, you can not un-ring the bell of freedom at all,” said Fernandez.

Rafael Pazano’s father spent 18 years in a Cuban prison as a political prisoner.

He is also encouraged by what he’s seeing in Cuba right now, but he’s worried about how the Cuban government will react.

” They don’t want us to know what is going on. They don’t want that information to leave the island. They want to black it out, no communication is what we understand and that way they can start doing whatever they are going to do to repress this uprising for the freedom of Cuba,” said Pazano.

Right now, he’s worried about his family that still lives there.

“We’re talking about life or death. Again this is the sole ruling party, no democracy who has complete power for the last 62 years and they want things their way or it’s the highway and the highway means death sometimes,” said Pazano.

The roadway did reopen after heavy rain moved through the area.

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