MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Parts of the Palmetto Expressway were shut down Tuesday due to demonstrators rallying for freedom in Cuba.
Dozens of demonstrators began their rally at Coral Way and SW 82 Avenue and then marched their way onto 826, blocking traffic in both directions.READ MORE: Vasilevskiy, Lightning beat Panthers 2-0 in Game 4 for sweep
“Viva Cuba! Cuba libre!” demonstrators chanted.
The show of support for those in Cuba spilled out onto the Palmetto.
Police blocked the entrance ramps to north and southbound traffic on the Palmetto Expressway.
CBS4 anchor Eliott Rodriguez got stuck in the traffic trying to get to work on Tuesday.
See His Video Here:
“We are fighting for freedom. It is very difficult. American people need to join with the Cuban,” said one protester.
Even in traffic, Cuban flags were everywhere, still supporting the movement.
During the day, crowds of demonstrators made their way onto the expressway. Blocking traffic for hours in both directions between Coral Way and Bird Road.
At one point, one protester was injured and had to be taken away in an ambulance. No word on what exactly happened.
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FHP began moving in at around 9:15 p.m. to disperse the crowd. According to a CBS4 photographer, it took about 25 minutes and everyone left peacefully.
But just as police started moving people out of that location, another protest popped up on the Palmetto and NW 103 Street.
People walked onto the road and started blocking traffic there in the southbound lanes.
That demonstration cleared up at around 11 p.m.
SEE IT: Traffic Cam Catches Vehicle Squeezing Through SOS Cuba Protesters On 826
CBS4 has not heard of any arrest.
A message from Colonel Gene Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol. pic.twitter.com/KVf5qBaaI5
— FLHSMV (@FLHSMV) July 14, 2021
This show of support follows rare street protests in Cuba over the weekend over a lack of food and medicine amid a grave economic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic and US sanctions.
Cuban police brought those unsanctioned protests under control on Monday.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a Cuban American, tweeted that he has never “felt such raw emotion from the people of Miami desperate for intervention by the government and by themselves on behalf of Cuba.” He added that “this is the moment of freedom” for Cuba.
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I have never felt such raw emotion from the people of Miami desperate for intervention by the government and by themselves on behalf of Cuba. This is the moment for freedom in Cuba. IT CANNOT WAIT ANY LONGER! pic.twitter.com/fL0aaKgbJz
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@MiamiMayor) July 12, 2021
There were additional demonstrations in South Florida, including one at Versailles along SW 8th Street and 36th Avenue and another at Tamiami Park off Coral Way and 107th Avenue.