By Frances Wang

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – It’s been more than a week since protests began in Cuba calling for freedom and South Florida Cuban Americans have kept their promise to stay in the streets in a show of solidarity.

From Tropical Park rallies to the streets around the Versailles restaurant in Little Havana, Cuban Americans are saying enough is enough. They’ve been joined by people from Colombia, Venezuela, and Nicaragua in their call for the U.S. government to help the people on the troubled island.

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People in Cuba have come together to protest in ways never seen in their history, risking the consequences. Inflation, food and medical shortages, and COVID running rampant are among the reasons for the widespread outcry.

Those rallying support in South Florida say it’s important to remember the real reason why Cubans are protesting.

“The Cuban people do not want food. They don’t want medication. They want freedom. It has been 62 years of brutal dictatorship,” said Mike Rodriguez outside Versaille.

On Sunday, s group called Niño’s for Cuba gathered at Tropical Park and let the children’s voices be heard.

“I want them to know that we see them. We are here to help them,” said 12-year-old Daniella Sagado.

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One of the organizers of the Tropical Park event said in Cuba, the government is taking children and teenagers and forcing them to join the military.

“I can’t even imagine them pulling these kids out of their houses to be in the military, to be on the front lines. I think of my 10-year-old and that is why I am here,” said Francesca Gonzalez.

Part of the help many Cuban Americans and local leaders want from the U.S. is getting unrestricted internet access to the people of Cuba. Many videos being posted from the island are being sent through VPNs around midnight due to restrictions there.

Governor Ron DeSantis said on Monday that the Biden administration has not yet responded to his call for help in restoring internet access for the people of Cuba.

“Once these demonstrations started the regime, I think understandably, recognized that for what it was, it was really a mortal threat to its existence, cause these folks were protesting the existence of the regime in Havana. So they went to crack down on connectivity and shut down the internet, which obviously made it much more difficult for Cubans who are seeking freedom to converse with one another. It was much more difficult to beam the images of what was going on to the outside world. So we in the United States have the capability to help provide the connectivity that I think would be essential in exposing the truth and really holding the regime accountable,” said the governor.

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A democracy movement will be at the Mexican consulate in Miami on Monday afternoon to protest their support for the Cuban regime.

Frances Wang