NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Hundreds of people took to the streets in different parts of Florida on Tuesday to show solidarity with the thousands of Cubans who waged a rare protest on the island last weekend.
Dozens more did so in our area, waving Cuban flags, walking the streets, and chanting their support, CBS2's Ali Bauman reported.
Demonstrators are standing with the masses of Cuban protesters who are angry over the worsening economic crisis on the island.
"No army is stronger than an idea whose time has come. The idea now is freedom," a speaker said.
Barbara Cambon joined the rally for her son and her grandson, who are both still on the island.
"My people die. No food, no medicine, nothing. That's why I'm here today. I support my people, my Cuba, my people," Cambon said.
Tuesday's demonstrations in the Garden State, as well as through Manhattan, came after some of the biggest anti-government protests Cuba has seen in years. Thousands of Cubans marched last weekend against the communist government, angered by food shortages, rising prices and the government's response to rising COVID-19 infections.
"What you're seeing on the island is something unprecedented, something that has never occurred in 60-plus years of tyranny that has oppressed the Cuban people," Florida Lt. Gov. Jeannette Nunez said.
In Florida, which has the largest population of Cuban-Americans in the country, thousands of people have been marching through Miami this week. Tuesday night's crowds blocked traffic on Palmetto Expressway near Little Havana.
And it was a similar scene on I-275 in Tampa, where the crowd could be heard chanting "If Cuba is in the streets, Tampa is too!"
"I can't be with my family. Nobody here can be with their family who are dying from simple hunger," one protester said.
Florida resident Adrian Arteaga has been re-reading text messages from his grandmother in Cuba. She sent them a month ago and he has not been able to contact her since.
"It's really difficult because we are so far, but it's our homeland. It's where we are from," Arteaga said through a translator.
While many Cuban-Americans are hopeful the people of Cuba see the outpouring of support here in the states, Cuban authorities appear to have blocked access to social media sites.
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