Floridians join the call for an end to communism in Cuba

ORLANDO, Fla. — After a summer that saw hundreds take to the streets demanding an end to Cuba’s Communist regime, the calls for freedom there continue.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

Dozens of American cities have organized rallies in solidarity with protesters in Cuba.

READ: Social Security: Agency announces schedule of payment dates for 2022

One such group gathered at the Sedano’s Supermarket in Orlando Sunday and again Monday, they said, to stand up for their brothers and sisters on the island.

“We are supporting the Cubans for democracy,” protester Marcos Marchena said Monday in Orlando.

Cuba reopened to visitors and tourists Monday after being closed for 20 months because of the coronavirus pandemic, meaning free people can once again visit their homeland.

Back in July, Americans stood in support of Cubans as hundreds of protesters were arrested, some of whom remain locked up today.

READ: Child Tax Credit: Deadline looms to register for lump sum up to $1,800 per child

“The government is asking for 30-year prison sentences, basically for protesting peacefully,” UCF History Professor Dr. Luis Martinez-Fernandez said. “This is barbaric.”

Martinez Fernandez says Cubans continue to stand up to the communist leadership, even knowing the punishment they face.

“They are like a tiger that is cornered,” Martinez-Fernandez said. “More and more voices are joining this chorus.”

In Miami Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis criticized the Biden administration for not doing more for Cuba.

READ: Biden hopes $1T infrastructure bill can boost his popularity

“We should all want to see the day when we have a free Cuba,” DeSantis said.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned what he called “intimidation tactics” by the Cuban authorities and vowed to seek accountability.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.