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Activists prepare for Miami-Dade caravan to demand freedom in Cuba

Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat is among the activists in South Florida who are showing solidarity with the Cubans who plan to protest on Monday.

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.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez met with diplomats on Wednesday in Havana. (AP Foto/Ramn Espinosa) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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.

FILE - In this July 11, 2021 file photo, people protest in front of the Capitol in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

“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.

A caravan will meet on Sunday morning at Tamiami Park and travel eastbound to downtown Miami. (Copyright 2020 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.)

More on Cuba in Spanish


About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.