Free Cuba is what Cubans around the U.S and around the island have been protesting for, and for HSU Alumni Cossette Rodriguez and her family, what’s happening in Cuba isn’t news.

“We are seeing all these atrocities that seem new to most people but to my mother and to our family it’s something that they were raised with,” Rodriguez said.

Now Cubans are rallying against the communist regime that has lasted for more than half a century and protest the lack of food, medicine, and the economic crisis.

“We were thrilled but we were also scared because we still have a lot of family in Cuba,” Rodriguez said.

Horacio LeDon works in real estate and has business in Abilene. He is a son of Cuban exiles and his parents worked for the CIA under the 303 Committee reporting communist activities in South America. For Horacio, the uprisings in Cuba are just the beginning.

“Is the first minute of the first inning of what would be a very drawn out process before Cubans get any kind of relief,” LeDon said.

That’s because in a communist regime, congregating against it, is hard, and LeDon said Cuba has done a good job at dividing and conquering, until now.

“I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that the Cuban citizen is powerless, unless he gets critical mass of people on his side,” LeDon said.

“They’ve taken everything away, they’ve taken food, they’ve taken liberty, they’ve taken happiness until they finally took away their fear and so finally these people are gathering together and its incredible to see this,” Rodriguez said.

Cuba’s president Miguel Díaz Canel, blamed the U.S trade embargo for the disruptions on the island and protesters and community members want the us to act.

“I want them to do something, you know, I want them to intervene, to speak with the political officials,” Rodriguez said. 

“Enough of this embargo, it’s useless it only plays into the hands of the Cuban government to be honest, it plays into the hands of the world that wants to see the United States as the bad guy,” LeDon said.