MIAMI – Protesters waving Cuban flags and calling for change on the communist-run island blocked a major highway and other protests in the Miami area on Tuesday in support of the wave of demonstrations that rocked Cuba on Sunday. Did it
The Miami area has long been home to Cuba’s largest exile community and has been a focal point of anti-Castro sentiment.
Protesters in South Florida on Sunday sought a repeat of the protests by thousands of Cubans, who denounced the deepening economic crisis, lack of basic goods and power outages, in the biggest display of unrest in decades.
“If Cuba is in the street, so is Miami,” many people slogged.
Dozens of protesters blocked the Palmetto Expressway for several hours.
“The roadway is closed due to protesters. We have deployed additional resources to assist with the reopening,” Florida Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Alex Camacho said in an email Tuesday evening.
But witness Jules Martínez later said police were allowing the highway protests to continue, which were peaceful.
“As I was exiting the highway, I saw people joining the protest and walking towards it,” Martinez said in a conversation on Twitter. “The local police were allowing the protest to happen and guiding the traffic.”
Other demonstrations took place in places such as Tamiyami Park in the Westchester neighborhood, where protesters called for “intervention” and shouted: “Patria y Vida,” or “Homeland and Life,” a slogan popularized by prominent Cuban recording artists.
The phrase follows on the Cuban revolutionary slogan “Patria o Muerte,” which means “Homeland or Death,” a rallying cry and call for sacrifice from Fidel Castro’s 1959 leftist revolution.