PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A rally for Cuba took place Saturday afternoon in Port St. Lucie. It was one of many that were held around the state and in Washington.
Hundreds of people gathered along U.S. Highway 1, just north of East Prima Vista Boulevard, waving Cuban and US flags as well as signs. Many of them chanted "libertad" -- freedom in English -- and said the time for action in Cuba is now.
In the past week, thousands of Cuban Americans pounding the pavement to show solidarity and others from different Latin American countries under a communist regime have also come out to stand in solidarity. Demonstrators are urging the White House to take action in efforts to establish a democracy.
Among those taking part is Liliam Bargas, who fled Cuba as a teenager.
"I lived in Cuba for 16 years," said Bargas. "When I turned 12 years old, they sent me to work at the farms. That is child slavery. I want them to be free, and it breaks my heart that we cannot help them."
Ray Valdez said the U.S. needs to stand up to Cuba.
"I think the United States needs to show their power to Cuba," said Valdez. "They don't even need to attack. They just need to show power. You will see how the Communist Party will fall down to see the threat of the United States."
Other people from Latin America came to show solidarity with the Cuban people, such as people from Venezuela.
"We don't have anything because the government, the communist government, is a dictator," said Ana Alayeto, a Venezuelan American. "It's not communist. He's a dictator, the same as in Cuba and Venezuela."
Bargas said the U.S. needs to intervene.
"We're asking you to let us go and help our brothers and sisters in Cuba, because the troops from Venezuela, they're already in Cuba," said Bargas. "They're hitting people and killing people. We want to go."
Alayeto believes if the U.S. intervenes and makes a change in Cuba, there would be a domino effect among other Latin American countries under a communist regime.
"It's time for (President Joe) Biden to step up," said Kenny Nail, chairman of the Republican Party of St. Lucie County. "It's time for the rest of the leaders in Washington to start doing what Americans do and that is to spread freedom around the world."
More rallies are scheduled for Sunday, including a candlelight vigil at Jose Marti Park in West Palm Beach.