WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — While waving Cuban flags in downtown West Palm Beach Monday, there were shouts for liberty and for freedom, as peaceful protestors called for an end to the communist regime.
"It's just complete oppression. People can't dream and people can't hope," said Meiby Nodarse, who came to the United States when she was only 8-years-old.
Nodarse still has family in Cuba who are struggling with a lack of resources and provisions on the island.
"I want to see our people prosper. I want the country that we love so much, and is so abundant in beauty and resources, to thrive," she said.
Nodarse joined the rally on Clematis Street as Cuba is still being rocked by political unrest after ongoing protests in the streets over the past two weeks.
In the middle of the crowd was Juana Vera, as she waved both the American and Cuban flags. Vera fled Cuba on August 8, 1968.
"This feels like our country in Cuba and the people here have woken up because 62 years is too long," Vera said.
Protesters also sang Cuba's national anthem. July 26 is a national holiday in Cuba marking the first attack of the Revolution, but on Monday demonstrators wore white to symbolize peace, and they lit candles and wore black around their arms mourning all those who lost their lives.
"To us that's a date that marks the beginning of suffering and the ending of freedom," said Maikel Suarez, president of New Cuba Libre, a young group fighting for the island nation.
Suarez says the time is now to stand in solidarity, but he adds Cuban Americans need help and many are calling on President Biden to intervene.
"The White House needs to hear us and it's not making sense right now because people are dying and people are suffering," Suarez said.
Suarez tells WPTV he is working with other local organizations to hold additional rallies in South Florida, and he's working to organize a trip to Washington D.C. to protest outside the White House.