By Karli Barnett

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Not even the rain Monday could keep people from heading out and voicing their support for the people of Cuba.

Hundreds gathered on 8th street in Miami to denounce Cuba’s communist government.

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“They’re lying to them,” said demonstrator Ana Rodriguez. “A lot of them don’t know everything that we’re doing here. But some do, and they have pictures, and we are able to send some. They took away the internet. They are taking away their life, so it’s very difficult. But we are getting through little by little.”

In Cuba, people are demonstrating in numbers never seen before.

“I cannot stress enough how social media has played a critical part in what has happened in Cuba,” says Marissa Daniela. “You know, the state media likes to control everything, so what happens in one part of the country or one part of the island, nobody used to know about.”

Daniela is a Cuban-American social content creator with family on the island. She uses her platform to share information.

“For years, people talked in their homes and not on the street. Today, we are seeing something finally happening on the streets,” she says.

Among the most recent reasons the Cuban people are demanding change, are a devastated economy and a little to no resources, especially in the midst of COVID-19.

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“Every day the numbers have increased,” says retired UM Cuban Studies professor Andy Gomez. “A lack of oxygen tanks, lack of beds in hospitals, the lack of food, or even good food, the lack of housing.”

While he’s encouraged by the show of force, he points out that real change will not come easily.

“Unless the Cuban military turns against the government, I really don’t see any meaningful change, no matter the social pressure,” he says.

That is something Miami Police Chief Art Acevedo, who has family in Cuba, hopes to see.

“I pray to God that the soldiers realize that they’re Cuban, and they are sons and daughters of Cuba,” he says. “They need to stand with the people of Cuba, not the murderous illegitimate government.”

President Joe Biden spoke about U.S. support.

“We call on the government, the government of Cuba, to refrain from violence or attempt to silence the voices of the people of Cuba,” the President said.

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The U.S. Coast Guard is urging people not to sail to Cuba, even if they are trying to bring supplies or aid, saying it is too dangerous. They will be out monitoring the waters.

Karli Barnett