LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Cuban-Americans who live in Louisville came together on Tuesday to lend a voice to an international demand for change.
What would you like to know
- Cubans Americans in Louisville gathered on Tuesday
- Music and songs were part of the event
- Cubans have taken to the streets in unprecedented numbers
- Those who gathered in Louisville wanted to message friends 1,000 miles away
A group of about twenty people played music and sang between breaks to sing in Spanish. Some painted the Cuban colors red, white and blue on their faces and draped Cuban flags over their shoulders.
They came to add their voice to the thousands of Cubans who marched through some of the island nation’s most prominent streets, demanding help and change within a communist government that has enforced strict rule for 62 years.
Some in Cuba have taken to the streets to protest the shortage of food and electricity, among other grievances, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel denounced the protests and blamed the current conditions on US sanctions.
“These are demonstrations inspired by the harsh reality of daily life in Cuba, not by people from another country,” said Jen Psaki, White House press secretary. “Our approach continues to be governed by two principles: support for democracy and human rights.
In Louisville, those who gathered wanted to send a message to friends 1,000 miles away.
“We ask our people to stay strong. We are there and we support them,” William Crusten said in Spanish. His colleague Geinis Torres translated his statements. “It’s been far too long. It’s been over 60 years and we just want them to be free.”
Earlier in the day, a person hit a truck with the Lousiville metro correctional service building. The truck bore the phrase “Patria y vida”, which means “Homeland and life”. It’s a rallying cry for Cuban protesters, but those who demonstrated in Louisville have made it clear that they do not support the driver.
“We want to make sure people know it’s not us,” Torres said. “We are peaceful people, we are here and we speak for our people. That’s all. That’s all we want.”
Several people interviewed by Spectrum News 1 in Louisville and during protests this week in Florida have called on the US government to step in and help their cause. Some wanted military action.