‘People are fed up’: Edmontonians advocate for ‘freedom’ of Cuba amid growing unrest

EDMONTON — The rising crisis in Cuba has the local Cuban community in Edmonton concerned over the violence that’s escalating in their home country.

“They are protesting the shortages, they are protesting the bad government, and they are protesting the lack of freedoms, fundamental freedoms so we’re here to support them, to make aware the people of Canada what the people of Cuba is going through,” Vlad Fuentes, a protester, said.

Dozens of people gathered in Edmonton on Tuesday demanding better living conditions in Cuba as widespread unrest grips the country amid a worsening economic crisis.

“It’s like a perfect storm right now,” Fuentes explained.

“We had a pandemic and the government’s response has been terrible. People are fed up.”

COVID-19 shut down Cuba’s lucrative tourism industry leaving the economy crippled. This led to shortages of food, medicine and essential goods.

Cuba has blamed the unrest on the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S.

Lily Martinez’s parents came to Canada 30 years ago so her and her sister could have a better life. She’s now concerned for her loved ones back home as the country is in turmoil.

“Our families are dying,” Martinez said. “We want freedom for our family.

“I want my dad to see his country free before he dies.”

Martinez says they’re having a hard time reaching family in Cuba as internet access on the island has been disrupted.

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