Cuban Americans Head to D.C. to Protest Freedom for Cuba

Over the weekend, Cuban Americans protested in Washington, D.C., at the Cuban Embassy and the White House. They called for Joe Biden to take action and provide aid for those living in Cuba during this time of unrest. Protestors could be heard chanting, “Freedom for Cuba” as they marched down Pennsylvania Avenue. Others held signs that read,“ You’re sitting by while we die” and “Biden, history will remember how you turn your back to Cuba & all the Cubans who voted for you.”

A group of 3 adults and two children dressed in Young Pioneer school outfits laid down in front of the White House. A small group of people draped themselves in Cuban flags and fake blood. In Grapeland Park, FL, over 300 Cuban Americans loaded a bus to Washington D.C.on Friday night to join the protest.

According to the Miami Herald, “Their hope…is to bring a “show of love” for the cause of Cuban freedom amid unprecedented protests right to the steps of the Cuban embassy and the White House.” One protestor spoke about bringing awareness to those who think the unrest in Cuba is purely because of vaccine access. Protestors in Cuba are fighting for freedom and the end of their authoritarian governments.

The trip was planned through social media and funded through private donations. Several Cuban prisoners spoke as people were boarding the busses. Jorge Luis García Pérez, aka, Antúnez, spoke to the protestors as they headed out. He spoke in Spanish, yelling, “We’re not going to allow the Biden administration to laugh at the sacrifice, pain, and tears of the Cuban people.” Over 1500 people were expected to show up for the D.C. protests. Many people were coming in from New York, New Jersey, and other parts of the country. Cristina Canales, a director with the Cuban American National Foundation, said, “ “If they are on the streets in Cuba, we need to be as well. If we have the ability to use our voice and not get arrested, not get shot at, we have to use that voice.”

The Biden Administration’s response to the efforts of the Cuban people has been criticized after Julie Ching, the acting U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, simplified the reasons for protests as upset over Covid-19 handling and medicine shortages. Alejandro Mayaorkas, The Homeland Security Secretary, put out a statement to Cubans considering fleeing,“ If you take to the sea, you will not come to the United States.”

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