MIAMI – South Floridians gathered Sunday morning for a caravan and march to support people in Cuba.
The event began as a rally in front of the Cuban memorial at Tamiami Park.
Vehicles began lining up for a caravan heading for the Freedom Tower in Downtown Miami.
Organizers speaking to the crowd reminded them why they continue to fight for freedom.
In addition to calling for change on the island, they also said they want to show the Cuban people that they are not alone.
Sunday’s event comes one day before another round of protests and rallies are expected to be held in Cuba on Monday. They are expected to be some of the largest on the island since previous demonstrations back in July.
Intimidation is already in the air. There are reports of harassment, violence and arrests. The Cuban government has panned pro-Democracy marches ahead of the movement.
“They are scared, but a lot of people will go out to the street no matter what,” said protestor Marian Espienet. “They don’t have anything to lose.”
Just four months ago, Cuba saw the biggest uprising since the 1959 revolution.
Several religious leaders in Cuba remain under house arrest, some facing criminal charges for participating in those demonstrations earlier this year.
The U.S. government is stepping in with words of support.
“The United States stands with the people of Cuba,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement. “We commend their bravery and unwavering pursuit of democracy, prosperity and fundamental rights and freedoms.”
An estimated 1,200 vehicles participated in Sunday’s caravan, according to organizers.
The protest also hit the South Florida waters, with a flotilla of boats, many donning Cuban flags, joining the demonstration from Biscayne Bay.
“The regime knows that this the tip of the iceberg,” said Orlando Guitierrez-Boronat, a Cuban Democratic Directorate. “An overwhelming number of Cubans want change, they want freedom, they want democracy.”