WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds of Cubans in Palm Beach County rallied in solidarity with the Cuban people Sunday after a protest broke out in their home country.
Many gathered at the intersection of Forest Hill Boulevard and Military Trail Sunday to show solidarity.
Local Cubans tell WPTV they are frustrated with the obstacles in place to send aid to their family and friends who are suffering and dying on the island nation.
Yuniel Leyva was among the first people to gather in West Palm Beach to protest against the Cuban government, after hearing of the demonstrations in his home country.
"That today, they decided to go out on the street. And I want my people to know that we are with them," Leyva said. "No more misery, no more hunger and no more abuse and police abuse."
Leyva's sign spread on social media and brought hundreds of others to join him. Protesters say Cuba has suffered for a very long time.
"I want there to be justice because honestly over there, we're killing ourselves. Like the government is killing the people," said Elianny DeArmas. "They don't let us communicate with them. There's nothing. No sort of communication, they don't let us help them. There's nothing."
Carmen Diez recently traveled to Cuba and said there is a huge lack of basic necessities.
"I have been to Cuba several times. I have experience and seen even with money, the lack of everything," Diez said. "I had to go to a hospital in Cuba. I have a lot of friends there. I believe it is genocide with is happening right now."
For decades, Cubans have lived under the Castro regime & now, are mired in its worst economic crisis in decades.
"They do not want to receive the help of medicine for our people. This dictatorship must be ended. This evil must be spit out at the root," said one protester.
Local Cubans hope that word will get to the Cuban people to let them know they are standing with them here in the U.S. Many of the protesters hope to return to Cuba and walk the streets where they were born as free people.
"Support them as much as we can. We can't let them just see what's going on and not do anything about it," said another protester.
Late Sunday night, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio tweeted out in part: "The anger has been building up for months & it's just getting started."
The dark of night is when the regime in #Cuba carries out the abduction of leaders of the opposition to the evil socialist dictatorship— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 12, 2021
But this is a leaderless,grassroots & nationwide movement.
The anger has been building up for months & it’s just getting started. #SOSCuba
President Biden released the following statement on the protests in Cuba:
"We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime. The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights. Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected. The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves."