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Downey Cuban Americans Stand in Solidarity With Their Countrymembers

Approximately 300 Cubans gathered in Downey to support and stand in solidarity with the Cuban community. Downey has the most prominent Cuban community west of the Mississippi.

 

July 13, 2021

BY TAMMYE MCDUFF

Massive protests broke out in Cuba on Sunday, July 11, 2021, as citizens demanded an end to the communist dictatorship.

“In a country known for repressive crackdowns on dissent, the rallies were widely viewed as astonishing,” The New York Times reported. “Activists called it the first time that so many people had openly protested against the Communist government since the so-called Maleconazo uprising, which exploded in the summer of 1994 into a huge wave of Cubans leaving the country by sea.”

The Daily Wire noted that numerous videos were posted online showing the protests had seemingly erupted out of nowhere. “The people are dying of hunger!” one woman shouted during a protest highlighted by the Times, “Our children are dying of hunger!” Other chants included, “We want freedom.”

“Never seen images from Havana,” Alexandre Krauss, Senior Advisor EU Parliament, tweeted. “Thousands are mobilizing across Cuba demanding the end of the communist dictatorship while screaming ‘we are not afraid…we are not afraid.'”

Police initially trailed behind as protesters chanted, “Freedom, enough and unite.” One motorcyclist pulled out a U.S. flag, but it was snatched from him by others. … Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases. The demonstration grew to a few thousand in the vicinity of Galeano Avenue and the marchers pressed on despite a few charges by police officers and tear gas barrages. People standing on balconies along the central artery in the Centro Habana neighborhood applauded the protesters passing by. Others joined in the march.

Standing alongside their Cuban brothers and sisters, solidarity walks erupted across the Gateway Cities. “The oppression and lack of human rights 90 miles away from us is heartbreaking. The Cuban government has failed its people for generations. They need freedom, liberties, opportunities, and the dignity that any civilized country should afford. Their lack of food and medicine is another failure of a socialist government that cannot provide for its people,” said former Downey Mayor Mario Guerra.

Rallies across the country were held (Times Square, Miami) and including one in Downey outside of Porto’s Bakery to support the people of Cuba. Mayor Claudia Frometa added, “The people of Cuba have been under an oppressive communist regime for 62 years and the people took to the streets all across the island today, Sunday, July 11 to protest the oppression and demand their freedom.”