TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Officials across Florida voiced their opposition of the Cuban authoritarian regime following one of the largest anti-government demonstrations held on the island on Sunday.
Tampa citizens also hit the streets to show support for Cubans who were protesting against food shortages and economic hardship Sunday, placing blame on the country’s leadership.
“Tampa stands with the brave people of Cuba, whose ancestors helped build our community,” Mayor Jane Castor said. “The fight for freedom and against repression is all of our fight.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis also voiced his support for Cuban protestors on Twitter, condemning the “tyrannical regime” in Havana. Florida has the largest population of Cuban-Americans in the United States.
Florida supports the people of Cuba as they take to the streets against the tyrannical regime in Havana. The Cuban dictatorship has repressed the people of Cuba for decades & is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies#SOSCuba pic.twitter.com/H71EYoKdUZ— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 11, 2021
Following DeSantis’ tweet, Lt. Gov. Jeanette Nunez said the governor is monitoring the situation in Cuba during a press conference in Surfside.
“The next several days will be pivotal for the freedom-seeking people in Cuba in their decades-long quest for freedom,” Nunez said. “So, we’ll continue to actively monitor that and we’re prepared for any and all impacts with that situation.”
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis also issued a proclamation declaring Florida’s support for Cubans’ right to protest peacefully.
Other city leaders have also voiced their support of the Cuban people as well, particularly in the Miami area.
“We stand with the Cuban people on the island and all across our own community at this historic moment in the struggle for freedom, dignity and basic human rights,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said. “We stand with them, and we pray for their courageous actions to begin to bring about real change and move us closer to a vision of a free Cuba.”
“A spontaneous uprising that has never happened in the last 60 years has happened in more than a dozens cities across Cuba,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said. “What the government has done, what the government has unfortunately always done for the last 60 years under the Castro regime. They’ve shut down the internet, they’ve shut down electricity and they’ve gone out on the streets to beat and to harm those who are protesting peacefully for freedom and liberty in their country.”
Meanwhile, Cuban author Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat of the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance said the fight continues on the island despite government suppression and called on President Joe Biden to fix the situation decisively, avoiding the mistakes of the past.
“We have over 30 cities where people have taken to the streets, and we have confirmed reports that despite the repression last night and the hundreds of arrests in several cities in Cuba, people are still in the streets,” Gutierrez-Boronat said.
“Please do not abandon the Cuban people,” he said. “Support them decisively. President Biden can fix what Kennedy broke.”