Amid a lack of any public signs of support for Cuban protesters trying to oppose a dictatorial regime, Cuban-Americans flocked to the White House over the weekend and Monday in hopes of reminding the Biden administration of the human rights nightmare taking place off of America’s coast.
Monday is a special day in Cuban history. July 26 is a national Cuban holiday, marking the beginning of former dictator Fidel Castro’s war that overcame the Batista regime.
To ensure that President Joe Biden does more than just talk about a free Cuba, demonstrators calling for a free Cuba have descended on the White House roughly two weeks after the July 11 protests that brought new hope to those seeking democracy in Cuba.
Demonstrators were at the White House at midnight Monday. Rogelio Vidal, one of the organizers of a group of Cuban-Americans and their supporters from central Florida, said the plan was simple.
— María Elvira Salazar 🇺🇸 (@MaElviraSalazar) July 26, 2021
He told the Orlando Sentinel that supporters of a free Cuba would “scream and shout until we lose our voices. We won’t let Biden sleep until they hear us.”
Vidal said that Cuban-Americans will not allow the momentum that began July 11 to dissipate.
“This is the optimism we have now. We can’t let this stop,” Vidal said, adding, ‘If Cuba is on the street, so are we.’”
“We ran away from communism,” he said. “Enough is enough.”
Vidal praised protesters in Cuba who are “fighting the dictatorship and communism, the Cuban police.
“Those young people, a new generation, they don’t have weapons, they don’t have helmets. They are defending themselves with stones,“ he said.
Diddenia “Didi” Ramos said the effort to prod Biden into action cannot stop.
“We cannot stop now. Hopefully, with this great event of the caravans to Washington, what we are achieving is that they listen to us and understand what we are fighting for. That they understand what we want is a free Cuba,” Ramos said.
Although Cuba is no longer ruled by a Castro, the end result is the same, Vidal indicated.
“They are killing our youth and mothers who see their children starve, die shot, disappeared,” he said.
As the demonstrations outside the White House continued early Monday, Alex Perez of Hialeah took in the spectacle.
“I’m 27 and I never thought I would live to see something like this,” said Perez, who said he migrated to the U.S. from Cuba seven years ago. “We need to make sure there’s pressure for people who didn’t have to go through what I went through to know what’s going on in Cuba.”
“I think Cuba needs a human intervention, not bombs,” Perez told the Miami Herald. “Biden should not only say what is the right thing to do, he should do it.”
Cuba related protest by the White House. pic.twitter.com/zIFPBwlmMX
— Eric Fidler (@EricFidler) July 25, 2021
Yumila Aguedo, 40, of Hialeah said she has family members suffering in Cuba.
“They are scared,” Aguedo said. “I think the U.S. has to think about how to help us, not with food and not with medicine. If [Biden] stands up for us, he can do it.”
Biden sanctioning an already sanctioned regime official in #Cuba is the kind of symbolic but meaningless measure we will continue to see as long as @potus is being advised by people who were drinking mojitos in Havana in 2015 to celebrate the Obama policy#CubaLibre
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 23, 2021
Maria Fundora, leader of a Texas-based group called Cuba Libre, said nothing short of force will oust Cuba’s government.
“We went into Kuwait, Somalia and didn’t ask for anyone’s permission. We went in and killed Osama Bin Laden and didn’t ask anyone. Are you telling me someone from Cuba needs to do something as horrible as 9/11 to get the U.S. to do something?” she said.
She said Biden will pay a price for doing nothing.
“What he’s not doing guarantees a Trump 2024 ticket,” Fundora said.
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