WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Hundreds of people in Cuba are facing serious prosecution after historic protests against the communist government last summer. Some of those people arrested included minors.
Cuban-Americans who live in Palm Beach County are sharing how they feel about the cases as tensions continue on the island nation.
"The time is crucial right now. There is a moment in time that we have to listen to the Cuban people," said Cuban playwright Vanessa Garcia.
Since the historic July 11 protests in Cuba, nearly 800 people were arrested and indicted for acts of vandalism and other serious disturbances, according to Cuba's attorney general's office.
Garcia said continued exposure of what is happening is the only hope for these political prisoners.
"Up until now, it's only been people who have been related to or know people inside the island and in communication with that become imprisoned for peaceful protests or for simply wanting free speech or working freely as artists," Garcia said.
Right now, 710 political prisoners are facing trial. So far, 172 have been convicted.
"There are children included in these 700 people that we're speaking about," said Cuban-American theater director Victoria Collado. "They're all wrongfully imprisoned, but there's people that weren't even protesting that are being imprisoned."
Jorge Alfonso, the owner of Capri Bakery and Restaurant, located off Southern Boulevard in West Palm Beach, left Cuba when he was 12 years old.
Alfonzo said action should have been done on a global scale to defend human rights.
"The international community did not take the appropriate steps to help the Cuban people. This is horrific. The right to protest, the right to express your way of thinking should be at the forefront of any society," Alonso said.
The July protests weren't the only time there were people took to the streets.
Garcia said there have been thousands of peaceful protests for freedom from January through November of last year.
"If we do not unveil and tell the truth, there is no one that is telling that truth. No one is seeing those 3,053 other protests apart from the one that you saw on TV, publicly," Garcia said.