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Thousands of protesters gathered in front of the White House on Sunday night to demand that the Biden administration do more to support anti-government demonstrators in Cuba.
Some protesters called for military intervention, others said they wanted food and supplies sent directly to the Cuban people instead of to the government. Providing internet access to the island also was an expressed priority.
The Miami Herald reported more demonstrators were expected to arrive by Monday, a national holiday in Cuba and the date Fidel Castro led his first attack against the Batista government in 1953.
“We saw a lot of people on I-95 with Cuban flags and messages on their cars,” 27-year-old Chris Cruz, a Hialeah, Florida, resident who emigrated from Cuba seven years ago, told the Herald.
“[Monday] is going to be intense but I know people will keep their cool.”
The Herald reported the mood among the demonstrators into early Monday morning was largely festive, with constant chants of “Libertad,” and “Patria y Vida” (“Homeland and Life”).
Rep. María Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., joined the group and tweeted video of flag-waving protesters in front of the White House. She added the words: “#SOSCuba??The #CubanAmerican community is at the @WhiteHouse demanding freedom for #Cuba.”
Maria Fundora, who leads a Texas-based group called Cuba Libre, said at least 18 buses left from Miami and only three had arrived in Washington by Sunday evening. Caravans from Tampa, Florida, and Texas also were expected.