HARTFORD, Conn. — Members of Connecticut's Cuban American community rallied in front of the state Capitol Sunday afternoon, standing in solidarity with protesters in Cuba.
They are seeking democracy for Cuba, which has been under a communist regime for decades.
Several protesters in Cuba, mostly young, were violently attacked by the regime and a number of them were incarcerated.
Those who attended Sunday's rally are calling for change, saying they refuse to be intimidated.
"The Cubans and Cuban Americans in Connecticut opposed to the Castro regime and that we favor Democratic change - elections, the release of political prisoners and we support the people who are marching tomorrow," said Dr. Victor Triay, a history professor at Middlesex Community College.
Hundreds of Cubans are expected to hold a peaceful march for democracy come Monday. Marchers will demand their government for basic human rights and needs. Hartford is among over 100 cities across the world that are rallying in support of Monday's event.
However, Cuba’s government says a decision to ban an opposition demonstration won’t hurt its image and is accusing the United States and anti-Castro groups in Florida of instigating the planned march.
"Reality is what determines image," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez told The Associated Press on Wednesday when asked about the protest that has been organized and discussed widely on social media.
The planned march coincides with the reopening of the country after COVID lockdowns, as well as the 502nd anniversary of the founding of Havana.
Organizers of the protest had asked for authorization to hold the march but were denied and are now urging people to take to the streets anyway.
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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