“Down with Communism”, also chant the Americans of Cuban origin

Shouting “Viva Cuba Libre”, thousands of Americans of Cuban descent have taken to the streets of Miami and Washington in support of historic protests against the Castro regime, which they hope will lead to its downfall.

“This is the moment” which “will bring down communism”, estimated Humberto Ponce Diaz, a Cuban crossed by AFP on Sunday evening in the district of “Little Havana” in Miami, where nearly 5,000 people brandished flags of the two countries in a concert of horns.

“I support 100% Patria y Vida” (homeland and life), he said, referring to a song launched in February, the title of which diverts from the revolutionary slogan “Patria o muerte” (homeland or death), and which has become the rallying cry of the demonstrators.

“Down with communism!” He added, draped in the banner of his country.

Many Americans of Cuban origin are, like him, fierce detractors of the Castro regime and felt the need to express their joy at a mobilization that they had not anticipated.

Demonstration of support for the Cuban people in Miami on July 11, 2021 (AFP – Eva Marie UZCATEGUI)

“I am very moved because I did not think it would take place,” confided Aleida Lopez, a Cuban living in the state of Florida, 145 km from the island of the West Indies, like hundreds of thousands of her compatriots.

“The young people have finally said + enough is enough, we will do what the older ones could not do +”, also rejoiced Yanelis Sales, a woman with gray hair who alternates between English and Spanish fluently.

– “Decisive days” –

Overwhelmed by food and medicine shortages and power cuts, thousands of Cubans spontaneously took to the streets of dozens of towns and villages across the country on Sunday, shouting “We are hungry”, “Freedom” and “Down with the dictatorship”.

Demonstration of support for the Cuban people in Miami on July 11, 2021 (AFP - Eva Marie UZCATEGUI)
Demonstration of support for the Cuban people in Miami on July 11, 2021 (AFP – Eva Marie UZCATEGUI)

It was the first major popular mobilization since the 1959 revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power. In Cuba, the only permitted gatherings are usually those of the Communist Party.

“The next few days will be decisive for Cubans who demand freedom,” said Florida deputy governor Jeanette Nunez on Monday.

“This is the start of change,” also said Gianni Leyva, a 35-year-old former soldier who demonstrated in front of the White House in Washington on Monday. The Cubans “are dying, they are tired. And yet, they went out and they started shouting” Freedom “, which they had never done!”, He enthusiastically.

“I hope that it will not fall again”, that they will “stay in the street and fight for freedom”, added the thirty-something, whose mother is Cuban.

– Help –

Around him, protesters called on the government of Democrat Joe Biden to condemn the crackdown on the protest.

“Let’s hope the President and Congress take a step in the right direction and help my country,” said Sergio Alvarez, a 32-year-old Cuban-born electrician whose father died last year on the island for lack of medical care. medical.

Joe Biden “must denounce what is happening,” added Elaine Miranda, a 26-year-old student. “We do not feel the support of his administration,” she lamented.

The US president on Monday called Havana to “refrain from any violence and any attempt to silence the people of Cuba.”


Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by www.challenges.fr.

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