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Demonstrators against Cuba’s communist leadership protest again in Jacksonville

‘Free Cuba’ demonstrations are raging across Florida, calling for an end to the communist regime

Demonstrations in support of the Cuban people continue here in Jacksonville, and News4Jax reporter Renee Beninate was with them.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Organizers of Jacksonville’s “Free Cuba” demonstrations showed out again Wednesday night after dozens of demonstrators blocked Interstate 95 at Atlantic Boulevard for about 45 minutes on Tuesday night.

“Patria y vida” was the rallying cry Wednesday, meaning “homeland and life.”

Wednesday’s protest attracted a small group to the former site of The Jacksonville Landing. The protest marked the fourth day in a row people have been calling attention to Cuba’s worsening economic crisis and lack of freedom under the communist government.

Father Ricardo Medina of St. Catherine’s Church, who spoke with News4Jax through a translator, said he moved to Jacksonville from Cuba eight years ago.

“No queremos mas presa politico en Cuba,” Father Medina said. That translates to, “We don’t want any more political prisoners in Cuba.”

That message is being shared not only in Jacksonville but in cities across the state, including Miami.

The protestors who spoke to News4Jax said they feel it is their duty to fight for freedom for the nation here in Jacksonville.

“We have to see what’s going on there and feel it in our hearts. What else can we do here other than protest here and make our voice heard here?” said Barbara Guadarrama, who is from Cuba.

Jamie Perera said he moved to the U.S. from Cuba when he was 5 years old but his family is still there.

“I’m worried about my sister and uncles because I haven’t been able to talk to them. And I know it’s chaos over there,” Perera said.

Wednesday night’s protest was peaceful and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said no one was arrested during Tuesday’s protest.

About the Authors:

Multi-media journalist with a special interest in Georgia issues.

Renee Beninate is a Florida native and award-winning reporter who joined the News4Jax team in June 2021.