Young Cuban Americans in Tampa are standing up for freedom in Cuba and against communist tyranny

Photo: Martha Asencio-Rhine – Tampa Bay Times

Tampa may be the home to some ardent supporters of normalized relations with the murderous Castro dictatorship, but it’s also home to young Cuban Americans who are standing up for freedom in Cuba.

Via the Tampa Bay Times:

‘SOS Cuba’ movement shows again that Tampa has a stake in island’s future

Cuban exiles are taking up the cause of democracy in their struggling homeland. They write letters, spread the news and organize demonstrations.

As home to former political prisoners, research partners and advocates for travel and trade, Tampa has stood at the forefront of debates over shifting relations between the United States and Cuba,

A new and largely younger group of local Cubans have joined the latest debate, energized by developments that surprised Cuba watchers and now dominates discussion of how the U.S. should treat Cuba.

Beginning July 11, for one of the few times during six decades of communist rule on the island nation, people took the streets to demonstrate — over a shortage of food and medicine, COVID-19 restrictions and their authoritarian government. The government responded by imprisoning hundreds, conducting summary trials and doubling down on security measures across the island.

The demonstrators’ rallying cry of “SOS Cuba” has been picked up in U.S. cities including Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville. Nearly 400 people turned out for an SOS Cuba demonstration July 13 in Tampa, blocking traffic on Dale Mabry Highway as they marched around Raymond James Stadium and gathered outside the local office of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa.

“We are not going to stop or rest until we reach the end of the dictatorship and the liberation of a Cuba that lives in crisis,” said Adrian Medina, 22, a native of Pinar del Río, Cuba, and one of seven anti-government activists in Tampa Bay and Florida recently interviewed by the Tampa Bay Times.

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