SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- Protests continue in Cuba after one of the largest uprisings in over three decades unfolded Sunday afternoon. Thousands across the island took to the streets, demanding freedom from the Cuban regime.
In response Monday, Cuba's President, Miguel Diaz-Canel, said he believed the protests were provoked by anti-regime supporters in the United States as well as circulating social media videos. Monday, he asked in a televised speech, that those supportive of the regime, should confront any protesters on the island.
“The people in Cuba don’t have anything, the military in Cuba has everything. They are fighting with guns," shares Javier Alfonso Coto, "I don’t know how they can have an equal fight of right, if they don’t have nothing. They only thing they have is their voice.”
Javier Alfonso Coto is one of the organizers for a group of San Diego Cubans, who have been showing their support since late Sunday afternoon.
Coto fled Cuba 11 years ago, and says seeing the demonstrations in his homeland as well as the ones in cities like Miami, brings multiple feelings.
“A lot of emotions," he says, "I am happy because now people are on the streets but the same time, it’s kind of bad because the government is doing a lot of bad things to the people. They are fighting together.”
That fear of his own family and friends being harmed because they are speaking out, is why Monday, he and others continued to gather, this time, at Belmont Park.
Passerbys would pause to see Coto and other Cubans wearing their Cuban flags with pride, holding signs that say "SOS Cuba" or "Ya Se Acabo" meaning
Coto said his family and friends on the island have nothing except their voice, which they hope to amplify.
“The real reason is people are tired. They don’t have food; they don’t have medicine; they don’t have any help from the government. It’s a communist government, and they say that they are going to help the people but that’s a real lie,” he said.