One year after Cuban protests, Pinellas County activist says more needs to be done

Protestors marched in Washington D.C.  this weekend showing their support for the Cuban people and calling on lawmakers to help those impacted by a communist government.

"The Cuban people and their cause for freedom is not a dying issue, it’s an issue that there was a pre-July 11 and there is a post-July 11 gets us closer to our end goal of a free, democratic Cuba," stated Alian Collazo, executive director of the Cuban Freedom march. 

Collazo, who now lives in Pinellas County has been helping to organize and lead Cuban liberation protests across the country for the past year.

On July 11, 2021, protestors filled the streets of Cuba risking their lives to demand a change in government.

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Cubans in the island nation were imprisoned – some killed – including kids and teenagers.

2021 Cuban protest in Tampa

Pictured: 2021 Cuban protest in Tampa. 

"What we’re trying to do is what we’ve consistently tried to do since last July 11 is bring awareness to the issue of what is happening to the Cuban people, the issue of human rights abuses by a regime that is not representative of the Cuban people, that has not been elected in a democratic direct election for the past 63 years," Collazo said.  

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These demonstrations have been happening for a year.

"Prior to the July 11 protests that were seen around the world and the repression that followed that was seen and visualized by people around the world, there was this image that was sold by the regime that it was a utopian, socialist society where there was equality and all of these things, past July 11, the world got to see that that wasn’t the case, that the Cuban regime was illegitimate and is an illegitimate regime that has gone to the streets, beat up its own people, killed its own people, continue to imprison its own people." 

Collazo says there’s still a lot of work to be done.