LAFAYETTE, La. — Cubans that left the island one way or another and Cuban-Americans in Acadiana gathered to show they stand in solidarity with their Cuban brothers and sisters.
Before, during, and after the protests erupted in Cuba, access to electricity and the internet has been massively sporadic, leaving some people in the dark. People at the protest in Lafayette say things on the island are changing.
They chanted “Patria y Vida,” which translates to "homeland and life." That’s what Cubans in and out of the island are demanding.
Rafael Garcia, who owns Cafe Habana City in Lafayette, says they need the world to act.
“Right now, we want the whole world to pay attention,” he said while talking to a crowd.
Similar to the protests seen in Miami or New York, people in Lafayette are also demanding that President Joe Biden takes action via military intervention.
Marlon Garcia left the island in 2013. He was seven years old when he left. He, too, is urging the Biden administration to do something about Cuba.
“I think that his administration and he need to stop turning their blind eye and actually do something to help the oppressed people,” he said.
U.S. Senator John Kennedy has a similar stance.
“I think he needs to do more,” Sen. Kennedy said. “I hope that he's on the telephone right now calling the head of every free country in the world, and those that aren't free, and saying, ‘Stand up. Speak up.”
At the event, Dr. Sidney Morales, a local pastor, read a statement that he says came from Mayor-President Josh Guillory.
“I am proud to stand with the people of Cuba as they fight for political and economic freedom. They have lived under severe oppression for generations, suffering from the deprivation that accompanies Marxism. It's time for Cuba and the Cuban people to be free and enjoy the blessings of a democratic nation, which will lead to having a strong friend and partner in the United States."
People at the gathering say the embargoes, or sanctions, from the United States have nothing to do with the recent uprising. Embargoes do not impact food or medicine.
Instead, they blame the dictatorship for people suffering for the last six decades.
Cuba's president Miguel Diaz-Canel has called on those supporting the government to take to the streets and defend the revolution.
Many consider Cuba's current events a humanitarian crisis.
Aside from the protests on the island, Cuban exiles worldwide continue to show support through protests.
Our Victor Jorges was live at 6 P.M. from the Lafayette demonstration with more details.
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