By Ted Scouten

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida demonstrators who support a free Cuba, have several rallies planned for Friday night. There is also a caravan leaving from Miami and headed to Washington D.C. for a rally in front of the White House.

Friday morning, the mother of a Cuban journalist who is detained on the Communist island held a news conference.

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She spoke at the Institute For Cuban Studies in Coral Gables.

Her son is Henry Constantin Ferreiro. He works for an online magazine and was detained on Sunday during a government crackdown while covering protests in Camaguey. Two others were taken into custody too. She said her son is charged with public disorder, contempt and spreading COVID.  She’s demanding that he be released.

Also Friday, a separate news conference from the Justice Cuba group along with the Hemispheric Front for Liberty and the Assembly of Cuban Resistance about those recent protests in Communist Cuba.

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“Today against all odds, against the bloodiest repression we have seen in human history, in this century, the Cuban people have achieved six days of continuous resistance. We’re still getting reports of protests in different parts of the country as recently as yesterday, and I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of the kind of repression of bloodshed of violence the Cuban people are facing,” said Orlando Gutierrez, of the Assembly of Cuban Resistance.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was there too.

“We definitely need the President to continue to up the ante. And I think yesterday was a very good and very positive statement that he made condemning communism, condemning socialism, and talking about concrete steps that can be taken to help the Cuban people,” said Mayor Suarez. “And we have when we need to support his efforts to continue to potentially come down to Miami and talk about what other concrete steps are going to be taken to help the Cuban people the Cuban people are desperate. They’re desperate for help.”

At that meeting, they’re discussing human rights, saying they’ve been gathering information on crimes against humanity. They’re requesting world leaders to step up, including more help from the U.S.

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The protestors in Cuba are expressing anger over long lines and shortages of food and medicines, as well as repeated electricity outages. Some also demanded quicker vaccinations against COVID-19. But there were also calls for political change in a country governed by the Communist Party for six decades. Some chanted “Liberty!” and “Down with the dictatorship!”

Ted Scouten