(NewsNation Now) — In rare protests, thousands of Cubans are calling for an end to more than 50 years of communism.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, a Cuban American, talked to NewsNation’s Joe Donlon and said the time is now for democracy on the island.
“It’s historic. We hope that this is the moment that communism in Cuba falls,” Suarez said. “I think the Cuban government was caught entirely by surprise.”
The protests in the streets of Cuba began over high prices and food shortages amid the coronavirus pandemic, but support has stretched internationally and via social media. Mayor Suarez says the Cuban government has the authority to shift the power trajectory of the island and beyond.
“It could free people throughout the hemisphere who are underneath the control of communist governments,” Suarez said. “You want it to be some sort of rapid, peaceful transition into a democracy but you wonder whether it’s going to be another example of repression winning the day.”
The demonstrations in several cities and towns were some of the biggest displays of antigovernment sentiment seen in years. The last such demonstrations in Havana happened nearly 30 years ago, in 1994.
“The international community has to do something. The people want freedom,” Suarez said.
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