By Austin Carter

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Hundreds gathered in Hialeah to push for freedom in Cuba on Thursday afternoon.

Demonstrators started showing up along W. 49th St. and 12th Ave. around 3 p.m. and began marching while chanting for freedom on the island.

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As in other rallies, they were chanting, “Libertad! (Freedom),” while carrying Cuban, US flags and signs.

“It’s every immigrant’s dream to be able to fight for their country-of-origin that’s what brings me out – show solidarity for those fighting over there because what we have here we want them to have,” says Natalie Plasencia, demonstrator.

The rally began at 5:30 p.m. and road closures were put in place.

Authorities said 49th Street closed from W. 8th Ave. to W. 20th Ave.

Law enforcement also blocked off entrances and exits to/from the Palmetto Expressway at W. 40th St.

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Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez said to CBS4 News that the time for action in Cuba is now.

“We’re sad because we know what’s happening on that island, young people disappearing, they’re killing people left and right so it’s important that we show them our support,” Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez.

Hialeah Police directed what appeared to be hundreds of demonstrators as they marched along W. 49th St.

At one point the rally traveled through the parking lot of the Westland Mall.

CBS4’s Austin Carter spoke with a demonstrator whose family members are in Cuba and have tested positive for COVID-19.

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“There’s no medication, there’s no food,” said Yardira Gross. “All they want is freedom, that’s all we want. We just got off the phone with them and they don’t have food or medication, they have a fever and were taken to a hospital an hour away.”