MIAMI (WSVN) - Cries for freedom across South Florida continued to intensify, as local protests calling for an end to the decades-long regime in Cuba entered their ninth consecutive day.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is reportedly taking steps to review relations between the U.S. and the island nation.
Monday afternoon, 7News cameras captured protesters marching along Southwest Eighth Street near Versailles Restaurant.
Two men held a large sign that read in Spanish, “Dying for your homeland is living.”
One of the men holding the sign is Jose Urbano Rodriguez. He said his brother, whose picture is on the sign, was arrested by Cuban police on July 11 for demonstrating against the government.
“They said he’s going to be in jail indefinitely,” he said.
Urbano Rodriguez said the names on the sign next to his brother’s picture are other people who were apprehended after the demonstrations.
Urbano Rodriguez said he prays that his brother is still alive.
Monday night, 7News cameras showed members of South Florida’s Cuban Jewish community as they held a rally in front of Versailles Restaurant.
Demonstrators said they would like to see President Joe Biden act now.
“I want President Biden to freeze all accounts that the Cuban government has in the United States,” said Roland J. Behar.
Demonstrators at Monday night’s rally said they would like to know more about this decision.
“More people in the embassy to do what?” said Behar.
“I don’t understand what having more personnel at the embassy is going to do,” said Rabbi Rigoberto Manny Viñas with El Centro de Estudios Judíos Torat Emet.
The Associated Press report states the commander in chief also ordered the State Department to create a group to review remittances, the practice Americans transferring money to their Cuban relatives, to make sure that money goes directly to those people.
In addition, The Miami Herald reported Monday that the Cuban government said travelers will be allowed to take unlimited food, medicine and hygiene products into the country, without paying customs duties.
All these developments are happening right days after historic anti-government demonstrations in Cuba.
“Any money that goes to Cuba now goes directly to the hands of the Cuban government,” said Behar.
“I also don’t support the idea of the remittances, because the people in Cuba are not out there screaming, ‘We want Coca-Cola and Hershey bars,'” said Viñas. “They’re out there screaming, ‘We want liberty.'”
Monday’s rally included a moment of prayer from the Cuban Jewish community.
“It’s because are hearts are just so heavy. Our hearts are so heavy. We’re watching day and night people go through the things that they’re going through,” said Viñas.
Other Cuban Americans in South Florida said those struggling in Cuba are in dire need of international support.
“We need to have as much international solidarity as possible, at this point,” said Cuban exile Ramon Saul Sanchez, “because the Cuban regime is massacring the Cuban activists.”
Supporters of the Cuba democracy movement spoke outside the Mexican Consulate in Miami on Monday. They condemned recent remarks by Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador claiming Cuba is already free.
“We are asking the president of Mexico to retract on those statements and to side with the Cuban people,” said Sanchez.
During a media conference, DeSantis said he is pushing to keep Cubans on the island connected with the rest of the world. They were stripped access to the internet after demonstrators started protesting against the regime.
“We in the United States have the capability to help provide the connectivity that, I think, would be essential in exposing the truth and really holding the regime accountable,” he said.
DeSantis said he has yet to hear from Biden regarding the matter, but according to the Associated Press report, Biden is calling for the administration to work with Congress to help make the internet more accessible on the island.
Until Cubans are free from communist control, local demonstrators said they plan to stand united with them.
“We want to come out here and let them know that they’re not alone,” said Viñas.
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