Hundreds of people attended a protest in Tropical Park on Wednesday evening, in solidarity with ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Cuba in Tropical Park, amid massive arrests and summary trials behind closed doors against protesters on the island. But some in South Florida said they worried the cause could lose momentum.
The Miami demonstration, organized by the Assembly for Cuban Resistance, drew supporters of the movement that began with protests in Cuba on July 11 from throughout South Florida, driving from cities as far north as Port St. Lucie. Waving Cuban flags and shouting “Down with the dictatorship,” the protesters demanded immediate action from the international community to intervene, as widespread repression against demonstrators in Cuba appeared to continue.
“It’s logical that after such brutal repression people cannot continue to be on the streets and they will have to organize in some other way,” said Andres Espinosa, one of the demonstrators at Wednesday’s rally. “And we also have to find a way to support them, so that when they decide to go back to the streets, they can have some support.”
Among the speakers at Wednesday’s demonstration at the Ronald Reagan Equestrian Center was Kiele Alessandra Cabrera, a 23-year-old Cuban American who made headlines last month when she ran into the field of a pre-Olympic baseball tournament in Palm Beach between Cuba and Venezuela.
“Cuban Americans today have a responsibility, as young people born here in Miami, to learn the realities and truths of our parents. I know because my mother and my grandmother have always fought my whole life,” said Cabrera from a stage. “When I was 5 years old, I went to the Elian [Gonzalez] protests… We have to know the truth of what is happening in Cuba.”
The demonstration lasted about an hour and a half before the crowd dispersed.
Meanwhile in Cuba, mothers had organized on Wednesday a demonstration under the Movimiento Madres del 11-7, or Mothers’ Movement of July 11, to demand the release of their children who have been detained or disappeared by special forces on the island. Internet access continued to be limited, as the Cuban government continued to downplay the demonstrations and portray anti-regime protesters as violent and unpatriotic.