MIAMI (WSVN) - The Cuban-American community in South Florida took to the streets for a second day to call for an end to the decadeslong dictatorship in their home country.
South Florida has the largest Cuban population outside of the island nation.
The community along with city leaders are now rallying together for the Cuban people.
7News cameras captured demonstrators outside Versailles Restaurant along Southwest Eighth Street, Monday night.
“Long live free Cuba!” a protester chanted in Spanish.
Protesters chanted “libertad” and held signs in Spanish that read “#SOSCuba,” “Liberty for Cuba,” “I am not afraid.”
Demonstrator Peter Merlo said he wants to see a Cuba free from communist control.
“To me, what it means is a possible end to an oppression,” he said.
Steps away, cafecitos were brewing at Cafe Versailles with the conversations centered around the protests in Cuba.
City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said this is a historic moment for the island.
“It’s important that we recognize what is happening in Cuba right now at this very moment: a spontaneous uprising that has never happened in the last 60 years has happened in more than a dozen cities,” he said.
“They don’t want a tomorrow with the Communist Party in charge,” said Dr. Orlando Gutierrez-Boronat with the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance.
Many living in Cuba took to the streets to protest the regime.
“I applaud them, because they’ve reached a tipping point where they said, ‘Enough is enough,'” said local protester Gilbert Concepcion.
“We stand with them, and we pray for their courageous actions to begin to bring about real change and move us closer to the vision of a free Cuba,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
“The governor is actively monitoring the protests on the island,” said Florida Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez. “We remain steadfast in our support on the side of freedom and democracy.”
On Sunday, hundreds across Miami-Dade County marched in the streets chanting and demanding an end to the suffering they said their families have had to endure.
Suarez said people in Cuba are fighting publicly to be given basic human rights.
“People are dying, people are getting beaten, and people are suffering, and they’re starving, and this has been happening for far too long,” he said.
Local protesters said they’re concerned about violence against their loved ones and their people.
“I still have a lot of family in Cuba,” said Concepcion, “and obviously we’re concerned about their whereabouts and their safety.”
“That is the saddest thing: sitting here knowing that we get to go home when all this is over, and they don’t,” said Merlo.
Those who have lined up along Southwest Eighth Street this week represent generations of families whose relatives escaped Cuba.
“Fortunately, I came when I was three months old,” said Concepcion.
Suarez called for a U.S.-led international intervention.
“We also need intervention from the federal government of some form or fashion, whether it’s food, medicine or militarily,” he said. “We need them to coalesce the international community together. What is happening in Cuba is now exposed because of social media and because of the valiant people in Cuba.”
Local leaders said they support a national strike in Cuba and are concerned about violence against the Cuban people for simply speaking up.
“In light of that fact, and knowing what happened in Syria, what has happened in Venezuela, what has happened in Nicaragua, we are asking for the international community, led by the United States, to intervene, to protect the Cuban people from a bloodbath and to bring this regime to an end,” said Gutierrez-Boronat.
“We don’t need to stand with Cuba. We need to act for Cuba,” said Merlo.
Marlins Park showed their solidarity with the Cuban people by raising the island nation’s flag.
Flyers distributed online invited people to join the peaceful demonstration in Little Havana at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
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