Demonstrators in Cuba protest shortages, rising prices; Orlando rallies planned in support

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Protests are planned in Orlando on Monday in solidarity with the thousands of Cubans who marched through the streets of Havana on Sunday to protest food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus crisis.

Thousands of Cubans marched on Havana’s Malecon promenade and elsewhere on the island Sunday in one of the biggest anti-government demonstrations in memory.

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“We are fed up with the queues, the shortages. That’s why I’m here,” one protester told The Associated Press. He declined to identify himself for fear of being arrested later.

Gatherings are planned throughout the day in Orlando, as local and national politicians are coming out in support of the movement.

Dozens of people gathered outside Cuba 1800′s on Monday afternoon as part of SOS Cuba, an anti-dictatorship movement that’s only getting bigger.

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“All we want is freedom,” said Cuban-American Diddenia Ramos.

Ramos has been living here in the U.S. since she was 5, but her entire family is still back home. Ramos said the issues there didn’t just happen overnight.

She’s frightened for how the country is handling the pandemic.

“The hospitals are collapsing. There is no medicine, people are dying at their homes because there’s no ambulances they’re not gonna get there in time there’s no resources,” Ramos said.

The next event is planned for 5 p.m. at Blue Jacket Park.

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“Florida supports the people of Cuba as they take to the streets against the tyrannical regime in Havana,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted on Monday. “The Cuban dictatorship has repressed the people of Cuba for decades & is now trying to silence those who have the courage to speak out against its disastrous policies.”

President Joe Biden also released a statement in support of the protestors on Monday.

Photos: Cubans protest food shortages, high prices amid coronavirus pandemic

“The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights,” Biden said in a statement. “Those rights, including the right of peaceful protest and the right to freely determine their own future, must be respected.”

Rep. Val Demings said in a statement that she condemns the violence facing the Cuban protestors.

“The voices of the Cuban people must be paramount. It is their nation’s future being decided,” Demings said. “It is my hope that Cuba’s path will be one of democracy and unalienable human rights. I strongly support the peaceful protesters in Cuba as they struggle for their right to create their own future.”

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Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, as it suffers the consequences of U.S. sanctions imposed by the Trump administration.

Representative Anna Eskamani tweeted “to prioritize human rights in all decisions of foreign affairs— we must stand with all people seeking freedom & dignity here and abroad.”

Senator Marco Rubio said it’s time to age up and call the government for what it is.

“For 62 years, they’ve lived under a tyrannical regime,” Rubio said. “One that is not only incompetent, but that lies to them. That blame everything on America. These people have bravely taken to the streets to say enough is enough. They want to live in a normal country.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Demonstraciones en solidaridad con Cuba

Cubanos se reunieron en Orlando para demostrar solidaridad con Cuba.

Docenas de Cubanos se organizaron en frente de Cuba 1800′s el lunes. Es parte del movimiento #SOSCuba, adonde miles de personas salieron a las calles en La Habana el domingo para manifestar contra el gobierno.

Las protestas siguen como resultado de la crisis de coronavirus, la situación económica y el acceso a internet. Diddenia Ramos dice que tiene miedo por su familia en Cuba.

“Nosotros solo queremos libertad,” dice Ramos. “Los hospitales no tienen medicina. Personas mueren en sus propias casas porque no hay ambulancias ni recursos.”

Otro hombre contó a Eyewitness News que su pueblo “ya no aguanta mas.”

“Los muertos no tienen ni madera para hacker cajas.”

“El socialismo promete alimentos y medicinas gratuitas e ingresos garantizados si uno renuncia a su libertad. Cuando esto falla, como siempre, uno no recupera su libertad. Por eso los manifestantes claman “Libertad,” dice Senador Marco Rubio.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.