MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – As days of protests are ongoing in many parts of the island nation of Cuba, people in South Florida are taking to the streets in solidarity.
A march was held Saturday in Hialeah for human rights in Cuba.
That’s what those involved called the amazing show of unity.
Local 10′s Hatzel Vela joined the hundreds in Hialeah marching along West 16th Avenue for more than ten blocks on Saturday morning.
Along the march, the crowd sang songs that have become synonymous to the Cuban struggle.
It marked the seventh consecutive day of protests since the unprecedented uprising in Havana last weekend.
Almost a week later and the love of patria, of country, remains vibrant in all generations.
“In 1980 my grandfather came here on the Mariel boat lift in search for freedom,” said protestor Yazmin Gonzalez. “His bravery is what led me to be here today.”
The crowd started to gather at the corner of West 16 Avenue and 49th Street.
Homeland and life has become the anthem here and on the island.
Like many here in South Florida, 25-year-old Yvelisse Suarez, who lives in Kendall, is concerned about her relatives back in Holguin.
“I’m here for my parents, for my grandparents, for every family member that I have left there,” said protestor Yvelisse Suarez. “They don’t have food. They don’t have medicine and they don’t have anything.”
Daniel Rodriguez told Local 10 News his spoke to his mother in Cienfuegos Saturday morning, and that she tells him repression is high and Cubans are fearful.
“If you even like a comment against the dictatorship, they can come to your house and drag you out to the jail,” he said.
In Havana’s Malecon, thousands took part in a staged pro-government protest. Many were bused in, and for the first time since the widespread protests, former leader Raul Castro was seen.
On Friday, the Cuban community marched through Little Havana, calling for freedom on the communist island.
The group of nearly 150 people marched more than two miles, from Café Versailles toward Domino Park.
Eduardo Moya with Lifestyle Miami, along with other organizers, planned Friday’s protest.
The hope is that the gatherings seen all week long will prompt change in Cuba that will ultimately free its people.
“We want to show them that the fight is on this side as well too, it’s not just them over there,” said Moya. “And continue to support them in any way we can.”
The protests will continue during the weekend, with several scheduled for Saturday; one is planned at the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami at 5:30 p.m. in which people like Willy Chirino and Emilio Stefan, among others, are expected to be there and speak at a press conference, scheduled for 6:30 p.m.
Another protest is happening by boat in Biscayne Bay Saturday at 5:30 p.m. as well.