MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A small but vocal group of protestors descended on Miami City Hall Thursday.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez met with some members of the group and told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “What we are asking for is for the President of the United States to come down here to Miami and explain in detail what the United States can do to help the Cuban people in detail, what can be done and what can not be done.”READ MORE: FHP Confirms Fatality After Tanker Truck That Drove Off Highway In Davie Catches Fire
“The stronger we stand together,” he said, “the louder our voices are. To quote Martin Luther King, an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. This is not just an issue about Cuba. This is a global issue.”
Suarez said he has been in touch with the White House but has not heard back. He said he believes the White House is formulating a policy in light of the recent developments.
Suarez also told the demonstrators “Do not block highways.” One demonstrator said he disagreed. Suarez responded, “Don’t do it.”
About 40 demonstrators showed up at City Hall and stayed there for two hours outside and did not budge despite the rainfall that came on Thursday afternoon.
Many have loved ones still in Cuba.
Claudia Valdes, whose grandparents live in Cuba, said “I am concerned about life. People there are dying. We need freedom of speech.”
Dayron Perez said, “They are in the streets without water and without food. They are fighting just to be free.”
Zaharis Fernandez says her mother and grandmother are still in Cuba.
“We need help,” she said. “There have been 62 years of promises. People are on the streets without food and water. We need help. SOS Cubans.”
Fernandez also complained about a concert being held in Little Havana on Wednesday night where hundreds of protestors gathered.
“Yesterday on 8th street, you guys made a carnival and I don’t understand that because people in Cuba are dying,” she said.READ MORE: ‘Get The Shot Today': Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried Urging Vaccinations As Florida COVID Cases Skyrocket
Fernandez also questioned Mayor Suarez about that when he showed up to listen to the demonstrators. They initially had a 5-minute dialogue in Spanish. Suarez told her he did not organize the event.
He also said, “What I am trying to explain to this group is that the Cuban government wants us to be fighting with each other, to be divided instead of being united.”
Fernandez also asked Suarez what can be done about Cuba.
CBS4 asked him the same question.
“What needs to be done about Cuba is everything that can be done by the United States and others in an international coalition to free Cuba. That’s what needs to be done. I’m the only elected public official Republican or Democrat to ever advance the idea of potential military intervention in Cuba.”
Suarez also met with several leaders of the group.
After that, protestor Alejandro Gonzalez said “He can let President Biden know that we need help. I’m asking for President Biden to help. I’m an American citizen with family in Cuba. The Cuban people need freedom. They are fighting the police with sticks and stones.”
Claudia Valdez said, “The internet. They are going to try to do everything in their power to try to provide internet to the Cuban people but that is a very difficult thing. It is not easy.”
After their meeting, Suarez made the call for President Biden to return to Miami to explain in detail what can be done to help the Cuban people.
Earlier in the day there was another demonstration during the morning rush hour in Miami Lakes by Picnic Park West at N.W. 82nd Ave. and 154th St. that was organized by Vanessa Wong who also has loved ones in Cuba.
“I came here to represent my family and those suffering under the dictatorship for the past 60 years,” she said. “I have not heard from my family in weeks. I have seen conditions deteriorate and I am saddened to see things like this and people don’t have basic necessities. My grandmother and great-grandmother are dying.”MORE NEWS: Miami PD Searching For Hit-&-Run Driver Who Struck Motorcyclist
Thursday’s protests follow unprecedented demonstrations on Sunday in Cuba when thousands of people marched in protest to chronic shortages of basic goods and food, curbs on civil liberties, and the government’s handling of the worsening Coronavirus crisis.