Cubans mark somber anniversary of historic protests

MIAMI – A caravan for country ended in Little Havana, with a message to Havana, demanding freedom in Cuba on this second anniversary of that historic uprising across the island.

The familiar sound of pots and pans could be heard as a way to get the message out to the rest of the world.

“We need help to everybody. Please help with that,” said protestor Ailyn Zamora.

In the crowd was Jose Galano, holding a sign with the faces of who he said are political prisoners. He himself was a political prisoner for 10 years in Cuba.

Freedom must come to Cuba, he said, as people are struggling and too many are being oppressed.

Local 10 News’ cameras were also in Washington D.C. on Tuesday where dozens gathered outside the Cuban embassy.

At events throughout the day, people told their stories.

Berenice Toledano from Santiago de Cuba is one of thousands from Cuba who took to the streets.

She spoke of the fear for simply doing what many of us take for granted: freely protesting her government.

Following the protests, human rights groups said close 1,900 Cubans were detained.

More than 780 remain in jail, 911 were prosecuted and sanctioned and about 90 are in exile.

Martha Perdomo showed a picture of her two sons, Jorge and Nadir Perdomo, who remain in jail for simply participating in the protests.

Governments and human rights organizations continue to call on the Cuban government to release all political prisoners.

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.