MIAMI – The Miami Police Department expects about 15,000 people to attend the SOS Cuba concert Wednesday afternoon in Miami’s Little Havana.
Asst. Chief Manny Morales said he told police officers during the briefing that 99% of the people who will attend the concert just want to exercise their constitutional rights.
Officers closed Eighth, Seventh, and Ninth streets, between Southwest 32nd and 37th avenues, to vehicular traffic at 2:30 p.m. Morales said the closures were to keep both drivers and pedestrians safe.
The crowd was steadily growing in front of the stage between the Versailles and La Carreta Cuban restaurants on Calle Ocho.
“We hope for the best; we prepare for the worst,” Morales said, later adding, “We secured it. We don’t want anyone getting hurt.
Arriel Montalvo was among the Miami-Dade County residents who arrived early outside of Versailles in preparation for the concert, which will end before 11 p.m. Montalvo said he hasn’t heard from his relatives on the communist island after the uprising Sunday.
“They’re dying right now for a free Cuba and this is the least I can do, to be here,” Montalvo said.
Ramón Saúl Sánchez, who moved to the U.S. from Cuba in 1967, has been strategizing against communism for decades. He has been following the crackdown on the opposition. Videos show raids, shootings, beatings, and arrests.
“It might not be the end yet,” Sánchez said. “We need to support them.”
This is a developing story.
Coverage on July 13
Coverage on July 12
Coverage on July 11
For more about the situation in Cuba in Spanish, visit the Local 10 News “en español” page.