MIAMI (WSVN) - A Miami makeup artist has become the face of Cubans’ fight for change after a self-portrait she posted to social media went viral.
Residents of the island nation have taken considerable risks to fight back against a dictatorship that has been in power for over six decades.
“It’s impossible to continue to live like this. They already feel like they’re dying, so might as well die for a cause,” said makeup artist Dunia Rivero.
Communities across South Florida also feel the pain and have been vocal about it on social media.
Rivero’s response was to cover part of the top portion of her face with the Cuban flag. She also added tears of blood and painted her nose to make it seem bruised.
“I remember it was Monday night, and I just went into my studio, and I just started doing this on my face,” she said.
Rivero then posted a picture of herself in full makeup.
She said she aimed to depict the heart-wrenching reality that the island’s regime has largely hidden from the public until very recently.
“Think of the pain of a country that has been oppressed for so many years without being able to speak their mind,” she said.
Rivero said her self-portrait has struck a nerve around the world.
“I’ve been getting messages that it’s on billboards in front of the White House,” she said. “I’ve been getting messages that it’s all over, even in Cuba. My family saw it in Cuba.”
Actor Andy Garcia posted the photo on Instagram on Thursday and called for the country’s freedom.
Rivero said she’s found herself thinking frequently about her late father.
“He would be so proud of – see? I can’t talk about him now,” she said as she fought back tears. “He would be, ‘I mean, I know.'”
Rivero said her father sacrificed everything to help give her a better life in America.
“For my people and my homeland. He’s the reason,” she said.
Rivero said her father would compliment Garcia whenever he appeared on TV.
“Every time Andy Garcia would come on TV, he was like, ‘Ese sí es un hombre de verdad‘ [‘That is a real man’],” she said.
Rivero said she wants to be make it clear that she is sending a message with her self-portrait.
“They don’t have food. They don’t have power. They don’t have medicine, and I just want them to think of that,” she said.
The artist said her picture is a call to action inspired by the bravery of the Cuban people.
“I definitely don’t want to stay quiet. The people in Cuba are not staying quiet, so why should I?” she said.
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