Tampa Bay Times: Florida politicians respond to protests in Cuba, show support

As thousands of people across Cuba flooded the streets Sunday to demand better access to necessities and protest the decades-old governing system, thousands in the Cuban-American community followed.

In Tampa, about 200 people waved Cuban flags in solidarity with the Cuban protesters, who are making the largest outcry against the Cuban government in decades. 

Local elected officials responded to the protests at home and abroad, commending the protesters. Some shared messages from other politicians on social media, while others took the chance to make a direct statement. Here’s what they’re saying.

Rep. Gus Bilrakis, Florida’s 12th Congressional District

“It is timely and appropriate that I am reminded that I attended this briefing on the brutality of the Cuban government, 10 years ago today. The United States stands with the people of Cuba as they fight for freedom!”

Rep. Charlie Crist, Florida’s 13th Congressional District

“The Cuban people have lived under an oppressive dictatorship for over 60 years. Today, thousands across the island decided to take to the streets & protest for freedom and human dignity. We stand with Cubans on the island and in Florida in the fight for a free Cuba.”

Rep. Kathy Castor, Florida’s 14th Congressional District

The Cuban people deserve freedom and human dignity. (Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez): Hear their cries for respect and fundamental human rights! The American people and Tampa families stand with the Cuban people. You are our friends, family and neighbors and we support you!”

State Sen. Wilton Simpson, Florida Senate President

“Floridians stand with the people of Cuba today. May their courage and action bring the freedom, dignity and human rights they have long been denied.”

State Rep. Chris Sprowls, Florida House of Representatives Speaker

“We stand with the people of Cuba in their pursuit of freedom and will always support those who seek their God-given right to liberty.”

Rep. Jackie Toledo, Florida House of Representatives District 60

“I stand with the people of Cuba, even on behalf of my own children who share a Cuban heritage. May democracy be established and oppression be removed.”

Rep. Chris Latvala, Florida House of Representatives District 67

America must stand with the brave Cuban people who are taking to the streets of Cuba to demand their freedom. (And no, Biden Administration they are not protesting to just get covid vaccines).”

Rep. Ben Diamond, Florida House of Representatives District 68

“The Cuban dictatorship has oppressed the people of Cuba for decades and today, they have courageously taken to the streets demanding change. This is a historic moment. We stand in solidarity with the Cuban people & Cuban-Americans in their continued fight for freedom.”

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor

“Tampa stands with the brave people of Cuba, whose ancestors helped build our community. The fight for freedom and against repression is all of our fight.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott

“The courageous people of Cuba took to the streets determined to regain their freedom and demand the end of the dictatorship. (Raul Castro Ruz) & (Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez) the message is clear: The people of Cuba are not afraid, your time is up!”

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

“The dark of night is when the regime in Cuba carries out the abduction of leaders of the opposition to the evil socialist dictatorship. But this is a leaderless, grassroots & nationwide movement. The anger has been building up for months & it’s just getting started.”

“We stand in solidarity w/ thousands of peaceful protestors all over Cuba who are challenging its repressive regime. May their courage and this historic moment bring about real change.”

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