BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Thousands took the streets in Cuba last week to protest against the government. In Buffalo on Sunday around 50 residents took to the streets to march in solidarity.
“Just so they can know that we’re with them, because they don’t have rights, but we do,” Cuban Activist Estefania Alayeto said.
Estefania Alayeto said she, and many others at the protest, still have family in Cuba.
“It’s hard to hear them say well you know what, we are going to figure it out and see what we have to eat, or my niece telling me you know what, i’d rather die getting on a boat, trying for freedom,” Alayeto said.
According to anti-government activists in Cuba, there are hundreds of protesters who are detained or missing. Alayeto’s brother, who is still in Cuba, spoke with me on the phone, but does not want to be named out of fear of his government. He said bringing awareness to the issue is key.
“I just hope that this gets out to all the Latinos and everyone that’s out there because they are really killing people,” Estefania’s brother said.
“It’s like saying I am republican or if we want to say no I’m democratic, it doesn’t matter. Over there that is something that can get you in prison then killed,” Cuban Activist Angelica Vazquez said.
Maria Taresa Sanchez lived through the first Cuban revolution and said enough is enough.
“They need to open their eyes, they have them closed. Over there, the people have their eyes closed and their minds closed,” Sanchez said.
Vazquez has been an advocate for Cubans her whole life and said they are being denied basic rights such as food and medicine, which is made worse by the pandemic, but she said they have to take one step at a time.
“Our priority is just to be free, everything else will follow along once we are free,” Vazquez said.
“Together, with everybody, what they have to do is leave,” Sanchez said.
Alayeto said she hopes her family, and everyone else in Cuba stays safe.
“They say they’d rather get arrested and die speaking their voice than die being quiet,” Alayeto said.
They said their work is far from over and they’ll be posting all their future events on their Facebook page, “Cubanos en Buffalo N.Y” where anyone who wants to get involved can go to check out what they’re doing next.