Cuban exiles in Miami held a demonstration this Sunday in the city of Coral Gables in protest of a initiative of the pro-Castro group Puentes de Amor, which organized a caravan against the embargo in the city itself.
– Rolando Naples (@RNapoles) July 31, 2022
The protests of both groups collided at 901 Ponce de Leon Boulevard, where the burning of a flag of July 26 which triggered a confrontation between anti-Castro activists and the Police.
Reports on social networks show that the followers of bridges of loveled by Carlos Lazothey presented themselves with posters calling on President Joe Biden to put an end to the Washington’s economic sanctions against the Havana regime.
The participants in the exile counter-march demanded the freedom of Cuban political prisoners and condemned the repression of those who dissent. In the group shouts “Patria y Vida” and accusations against the organization related to the regime of facilitating the enrichment of the representatives of the dome of power were heard.
The anti-Castro demonstrators described the flag of the 26th of July movement burned as a symbol of oppression in Cuba and of a “terrorist” movement. This moment transcended in videos shared on the networks by the protesters.
#terrorist flags of July 26 in #PuentesDeAmor
Posted by Joel Rodriguez Riveron on Sunday, July 31, 2022
Apparently this was the moment when the Miami-Dade Police intervened to try to maintain calm between both groups of protesters.
Abusive use of the Police in Miami Dade, against Cubans protesting against terrorism that has come through Milk Bridges in Miami pic.twitter.com/0n0kvANcgj
– Danaisy Serrano (@ Danaisy_Oficial) July 31, 2022
Some users, as activist Danaisy Serrano, described the actions of the police as “abusive”. At least two people were arrested after that incident.
As a result of the protests that took place, the mayors of Coral Gables, Vince Lago, and of Miami, Francis Suárez, made pronouncements that sparked criticism among exiles.
Lake wrote on his Twitter account that your support is “unequivocally with the political prisoners and activists who fight for a free and democratic Cuba“, but said that although he “abhors” the message that Puentes de Amor conveys, his The right to protest is protected by the United States Constitution..
“Puentes (of Love) is paid by the regime to carry out an economic agenda. We are blessed to live in this great country that provides freedom of expression to all. as son of cuban refugees who fled communist oppression, I oppose the lifting of the embargo and the message of this group,” he said in an open thread that could not quell the unrest.
Francis Suárez, for his part, asked his Twitter followers that they read Lago’s declaration, endorsing it.
Jorge L. Diaz Piñeiro questioned in the comments of the publication: “Does burning a communist flag get you arrested in the heart of the exile community? While the burning of an American flag is celebrated as an action that pushes the limits of our first amendment. Something is not right here and you know it.”
Marco Almirall asked “respect and justice” for the Cuban exile He added: “The facts matter, and we are sick and tired of the Coral Gables Police treating us as if we were the offenders, whom they protect all the time. As a Cuban-American resident here, I ask you not to allow these demonstrations anymore.” , referring to the caravan against the embargo.
On his Facebook profile, the leader of the pro-Castro group, Carlos Lazo, accused the Cuban exiles, whom he described as “haters,” of inciting the violence on Sunday.
“The fat is armed in Miami! Haters attack the Miami Police! Haters arrested for inciting violence against peaceful protesters of #PuentesDeAmor! Let’s get out of trouble, for the Cuban family! We are assisted by the love and God assists us! The family is sacred! Down with the blockade! #PuentesDeAmor!”, he wrote.
The leader of Puentes de Amor, a Cuban émigré who frequently travels to Cuba and meets with authorities and spokesmen for the regime, including Miguel Díaz-Canelcalled on his followers to demonstrate around the world and also to tweet in favor of eliminating the sanctions against Havana, which he describes as “economic war against the people of Cuba.”
Lazo’s initiatives receive enormous attention from the official media of the Cuban regimewhich also tends to underline the expressions of rejection that they reap as attacks by promoters of hate.
In 2021 it was revealed that Lazo operates Puentes de Amor as a joint NGO with employees of Cuban-American businessman Hugo Cancio, also related to the Havana regime.
Bridges of Love, which both Lazo and the official Cuban press present as a “solidarity initiative”and which has developed several campaigns in favor of rapprochement between Washington and Havana, is registered as a non-profit entity in the Washington State business directorywhere Lazo resides.