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Pro-Democracy, Human Rights Group Echoes Calls For Freedom In Cuba

MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- Historic protests in Cuba over the weekend called for freedom for people on the island. On Monday morning, the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance echoed the calls for the end to a decades-long communist regime.

"We are asking for the international community, led by the United States, to intervene, to protect the Cuban people from a bloodbath," said Dr. Orlando Gutierrez Boronat at a press conference in West Miami-Dade. "The Cuban people are not on the streets asking for medicine, they're not asking for food. They're on the streets demanding freedom."

The demand for freedom sparked unprecedented protests in several Cuban cities on Sunday. Thousands of people marched in the streets of Havana shouting, 'Libertad', or 'Freedom'. Cuban authorities arrested some people and shut off internet services throughout the afternoon.

"We are living in key moments in the history of Cuba right now. A national uprising is taking place against communist tyranny in Cuba," said Dr. Gutierrez Boronat.

The group of Cuban-Americans on Monday morning stood in solidarity with other Hispanic groups across South Florida and called on President Joe Biden to step in.

"We can't betray so many thousands of Cubans making that call for change," Dr. Gutierrez Boronat said.

People demonstrate, some holding Cuban national flags, during a protest against the Cuban government in Miami on July 11, 2021. (Photo by Eva Marie UZCATEGUI / AFP) (Photo by EVA MARIE UZCATEGUI/AFP via Getty Images)

On Sunday, hundreds in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood also protested in support of the Cuban people. The gathering shut down parts of 8th Street in front of the landmark Versailles restaurant.

"For this to happen, they have to have reached a moment of desperation. And it's so bad that they're willing to risk their lives. And for that, we have to support them," said Miami Mayor Francis Suarez in Little Havana on Sunday.

The Assembly of Cuban Resistance said they knew of protests still happening in several cities in Cuba as of Monday morning. They added they had confirmation that some people were refusing to go to work and had gone on strike.

Also on Monday, President Joe Biden released a statement which said he "stands with the Cuban people." Mr. Biden called the protests a "clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba's authoritarian regime."

In the President's statement, he called on the Cuban regime "to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves."

The Assembly of Cuban Resistance said the group will meet on Tuesday, July 13 at 5 p.m. at Tamiami Park to call once again, for the liberation of Cuba.

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