PHOTOS: Tampa’s Cuba protesters say the struggle for freedom is being exploited by partisanship


Over the last two weekends, Cuba’s “patria y vida” protests have expanded past the Caribbean island and onto streets across the U.S. Cuban voices are being heard loudly in Florida., and in Ybor City last Friday, students and their allies marched from Jose Marti square to Centro Ybor where they rallied to say that their struggle for freedom and self-determination is being exploited by American partisanship.

“The current Cuban government is guilty of human rights violations and the U.S. is guilty of exacerbating the situation by imposing the embargo,” Getulio Gonzalez-Mulattieri, who organized the protest with Liz Laura Leyva Vera, told Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. “As a result, the Cuban people are stuck between two bad actors and the two major parties have politicized their suffering for votes, turning those human rights violations into a game of political football.”

Gonzalez-Mulattieri said the students and allies who marched through the historic district last Friday have a set of demands which include free WiFi for Cuba, louder amplification of Cuban voices, the release of all Cuban political prisoners and an official international condemnation of “the violence of the Cuban government against its people.”—Ray Roa

07/23/2021 | Photos by Dave Decker