HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - It’s day seven of continued protests for freedom in Cuba as more are being planned for Saturday.
Rallying for democracy outside Miami’s iconic Freedom Tower, a group is demanding liberty for friends and family on the island nation.
“I’m a U.S.Navy veteran, and I fought for this country,” said Cuban activist Antonio Morales. “The only thing we want is freedom. Freedom, that’s all we ask. The air that we breathe, freedom, that’s all we ask.”
They’re protesting scenes like a brutal beating on the street near Havana and officers firing into crowds of protestors trying to squash an uprising.
Now, activists for the Cuban community have a rallying cry they want the world to hear.
“The city is coming together because this is a crisis that intimately affects our city,” said City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez. “So many people in our city were born in Cuba, or are from Cuba or have family in Cuba.”
On Saturday, what is expected to be the biggest demonstration yet to demand democracy for the cuban people is slated as a call to action to the United States and the world.
It will take over downtown Miami outside the iconic Freedom Tower and on the waters of Biscayne Bay by FTX Arena.
“Cubans need actions. These are times for actions, not statements,” said Rosa Maria Paya.
Rosa Maria is the daughter of Oswaldo Paya, the Cuban dissident who died in a car crash on the island in 2012.
The cause of his death has been disputed for nearly a decade. Some say the wreck was not an accident.
“Freedom and the end of the dictatorship, the governments of the world, especially the democracies of the world cannot demand any less,” Rosa Maria said.
Paya will be one of the thousands expected in attendance Saturday at the Freedom Tower, a symbol of hope and freedom as immigrants once sought citizenship here.
“The Freedom Tower is this incredibly special place for Cubans in Miami, for my parents who were processed when they first arrived,” said Madeline Pumarigea of Miami-Dade College.
And so many of those Cuban Americans we’re fired up Friday in Little Havana as well.
Demonstrators gathered once again in front of the iconic Versailles restaurant, calling for change
“I came over here when I was a kid, and I still have family over there, and we have to support them back home and let them know we’re here for them,” said an activist.
The group then marched more than two miles to Domino Park in a show of support and solidarity for their family and friends still on the island nation.
“We’re hoping this makes a change, we’re hoping this support really does something and brings about change because it’s about time,” said another activist.
“This is a moment where together as a nation, as a city, we prove the morals and principles we stand for,” said singer and actor Jencarlos Canela. “Ninety miles away, there are innocent unarmed lives being repressed, being killed by a totalitarian regime. It goes beyond politics. It is a human rights issue.”
The rally will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday.
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