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Louisville Cuban community protests in solidarity at Big Four Bridge

Many in Louisville showed their support for the citizens of Cuba as the island nation faces a...
Many in Louisville showed their support for the citizens of Cuba as the island nation faces a tough economic crisis with food shortages and high prices among other issues.(WAVE 3 News)
Published: Jul. 13, 2021 at 11:48 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Many in Louisville showed their support for the citizens of Cuba as the island nation faces a tough economic crisis with food shortages and high prices among other issues.

Demonstrations in Cuba began over the past weekend after a summer of shortages, a resurgence of coronavirus cases, and an overall outrage over oppression within the country.

On Tuesday evening, dozens within the Cuban community and people showing support rallied to the Big Four Bridge to raise their voice in opposition of Cuban dictatorship.

One group of people at Tuesday’s protest said they fled the country of Cuba and came to the United States to get away from the oppression they say has gone on for 62 years.

“It’s really hard for us, its hard to see our people suffering, hard to see people fighting without anything to defend themselves,” Iliana Rodriguez said. “They are basically alone, the government turned their backs on my people, and it’s really frustrating. We know here (in America) we have all the rights, and that’s exactly why we’re here raising our voices here, because they need the same thing there (in Cuba).”

The Cuban American Association of Kentucky and El Kentubano, a free publication targeted to the Hispanic community of Louisville, condemned an earlier incident where a truck with the phrase “Patria y vida,” a phrase translated to “homeland and life” used by protesters demanding change, crashed into LMDC.

“After the incident downtown at noon today where a truck with a ′′Homeland and Life′′ sign was thrown at a government building,” the translated post by El Kentubano reads, “Although we do not have evidence or know the perpetrator, we believe people with bad intentions they are behind the same trying to damage the image of our community and divert attention from what really matters now: freedom of our homeland and the end of dictatorship.”

In addition to the protests in Louisville, demonstrators have shown solidarity with Cuban citizens across the United States.

US President Joe Biden said in a statement Monday Cuban protesters were asserting basic rights in their protests and urged the Cuban government to serve their people.

“We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,’' Biden said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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