ORLANDO, Fla. – Hundreds of Cuban supporters took to the streets of Central Florida Sunday afternoon to call for change.
What You Need To Know
- Cuban supporters took to the street of Central Florida
- They are demonstrating in support of Cubans
- Sunday's caravan follows a week of demonstrations throughout the area
People with ties to Cuba are demonstrating to support Cubans who say they’re being silenced by the Cuban government amid an economic crisis in the country.
Yuniexi Valiente gets emotional just thinking about her family in Cuba.
“I have my grandfather over there, I have cousins over there,” Valiente said.
She said it’s hard to reach her family by phone, but they’ve told her access to food and basic products such as ibuprofen has been scarce.
“They have no voice, nobody is listening to them,” Valiente said. “They’re trying to fight this by themselves.”
So Valiente and other Cuban supporters, with many Cuban flags flying, rode through some of the busiest parts of Orlando on Sunday, including Orlando International Airport and the Disney World area.
“We need more than letters, we need more than words, we need action,” Valiente said.
But their message wasn’t directed just at government leaders. They say they are hoping other people in Central Florida take notice, join them in support and ultimately amplify their call for change.
“We need somebody to listen and do something,” Valiente said.
Sunday’s caravan follows a week of demonstrations throughout Central Florida in support of protests in Cuba. Thousands took to the streets of the island nation last weekend to protest chronic shortages of basic goods, restrictions on civil liberties and the communist government’s handling of a worsening coronavirus outbreak.
The U.S. State Department says the Cuban government responded to the protests in Cuba by shutting down internet access and arbitrarily jailing dozens of protesters.
Valiente said she feels fortunate to have the right to make her voice known, thanks to her father who moved her family out of Cuba and to Florida when she was young.
“Thanks to him I’m here,” Valiente said. “If not, I would be on the streets right now, and my kids would have no freedom and no freedom of speech like they have right now.”