MIAMI – Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat is among the activists in South Florida who are showing solidarity with the Cubans who plan to protest on Monday.
Gutierrez-Boronat is a spokesman for the Cuban Democratic Directorate, a nongovernmental organization that supports the protection of human rights in Cuba.
“They’re overcoming their fear to stand up in a civic peaceful manner for freedom.”
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez delivered a statement on Wednesday in Havana that was televised. He said he is certain that nothing consequential will happen on Monday.
“We will not allow it. We will use our laws, our constitution, and the strictest adherence to the principles of our socialist state of law and social justice,” Rodriguez said.
Gutierrez-Boronat and other Cuban government critics accused the state of systematically criminalizing dissent. They expect Cuban law enforcement to intimidate and harass anyone who takes to the streets.
Henry Constantin, an independent journalist, said officers arrested him while he was covering the historic SOS Cuba protest on July 11. He said officials have ramped up the harassment of activists and journalists.
Some protesters are planning “cacerolazos,” the banging of pots and pans from the safety of their homes. Abdel Legra, an activist in Havana, said Cubans need to be able to demonstrate peacefully.
“We don’t want war,” Legra said in Spanish. “What we want is our rights.”
In support of activists like Legra, a group of Cuban Americans plans to meet at 9 a.m., on Sunday, at the Cuban Memorial in Tamiami Park.
The activists are asking anyone who wants to participate in the caravan to be prepared to travel to an area near the Freedom Tower on Biscayne Bay.
Boaters with Cuban flags will be waiting on Biscayne Bay, between the FTX Arena, at 601 Biscayne Blvd., and the Maurice A. Ferré Park, at 1075 Biscayne Blvd.
More on Cuba in Spanish