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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Cuban exile organizations in Miami discussed their plans Monday for what they hope will be a huge gathering this week to mark Fidel Castro’s death and demand democracy for Cuba.
At Miami City Hall, Mayor Tomas Regalado met with several Cuban exiles with the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance to go over logistics regarding a massive rally on Wednesday.
“It is going to be a big rally and the purpose is to send a message to the Cuban people and to the world that the Cuban exile community, the diaspora, all they want is democracy and freedom,” said Mayor Regalado. “Of course, the death of Fidel Castro triggers many hopes because it’s the end of an era.”
Since the death of Fidel Castro, Cuban Americans in South Florida have been celebrating and on Wednesday a group is calling on the community to join them in being a voice for the Cuban people on the island who have been forced into silence.
“We will be telling the people we are here, we are standing, not the old age people that were under the dictatorship but also our sons and daughters and granddaughters are here just standing with the same ideals of freedom and democracy for you all in the island,” said Cuban exile Luis Zuniga.
At the Bay of Pigs Memorial in Little Havana, thousands of people are expected to gather with a message of hope, justice, and freedom for Cuba.
“Now that the world is looking at Cuba, it’s time to speak for those who cannot speak who will request and say change must come to Cuba,” said Orlando Gutierrez with the group Cuban Democratic Directorate.
“We will unite that day, all together, because the dictator is dead but the cause of a free Cuba is not and it will not die until Cuba is free once more,” said Silvia Oriondo with the group Women Against Repression.
The Rally for Freedom and Democracy in Cuba will be held on Wednesday at 5 p.m. at the Bay of Pigs Memorial located on 8th Street and 13th Avenue.
“We all have to remember what we have been through. Some people forget,” said Peter Fernandez.
Fernandez’s family has run the fruit stand on the corner for years. They are all set for Wednesdays’ event acknowledging the death of Cuba’s longtime dictator.
“What you guys call a celebration is just a release of pressure. Not that something might occur from this. I feel it is like closure,” he said.
Traffic will be closed down on 8th Street from 17th to 12th Avenue on Wednesday. The closure will be from noon until 8 p.m.