A protest against the government took place on the streets of Cuba Monday. Cubans in Fort Myers showed their support by protesting in solidarity for their loved ones in Cuba.
Cubans here in the U.S. say the Cuban government is trying to stop the protests by putting police in the streets, and trying to stop Cubans in the U.S. from offering their support by cutting off internet access.
“The streets are full of police and undercover police officers.” Those are just some of the words that the Cuban regime doesn’t want the world to hear. The undercover officers were ready to arrest anyone found protesting.
WINK News was with Maypu Martínez Díaz on Monday as she spoke with her family in Havana.
Martínez Díaz said police arrested her nephews during protests in July. They are still in custody. Translated from Spanish, she said, “today they’re asking him to do 20 to 25 years of prison time.”
Martínez Díaz said they all just want justice in a nation that’s never had that.
Anyone protesting and wearing white on Monday, faced arrest or worse. Martínez Díaz said white represents the freedom Cuban’s have been fighting for almost 62 years.
Mari Davila, the organizer of Monday’s protest in Fort Myers said, “no matter if they have to die they rather die with dignity than die from doing nothing.”
The Cuban government has cut off internet access to those on the island until Wednesday.
Cubans here in Southwest Florida say they will stand up for those who can’t. Martínez Díaz said they will make their voices heard. “We need to scream.”
Davila said, “They are the bravest human beings that I know. The bravest.”
The nationwide protests in Cuba are pushing for greater political freedoms and the release of jailed activists following street protests in July, the largest in decades.
At the same time, government supporters have increased their presence on Havana’s streets.
One dissident leader, Yunior Garcia, was supposed to leave for the protest on Monday afternoon, but government supporters surrounded his house, and draped the building in Cuban flags, obscuring the view of Garcia’s window from the street.
The Fort Myers protest in support of those protesting in Cuba is taking place at the Edison Mall on Monday and will begin at 5:30 p.m.