NewsLocal News


Tampa City Council passes two resolutions supporting Cuban protesters

cuban protest 2021
Posted at 11:37 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 23:44:27-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tampa City Council passed two resolutions Thursday, July 15 expressing support for Cubans fighting on the island nation for freedom and a fair democracy.

“It puts Tampa on the record of saying yes to liberty and to those risking their lives in Cuba," said councilman Luis Viera.

Viera, whose parents fled the communist country in 1960, presented the resolution with a passionate pitch.

“People are risking their lives and the very least that we can do is to have moral clarity on that issue and calling a spade a spade whenever it comes to a repressive system that has cost so many people, including my family, to flee.”

But the agenda item didn't happen without drama.

“This is a statement that is about as controversial as eating a hot dog at Yankee Stadium," said Viera. "It’s a statement about solidarity with those protesting right now in Cuba.”

Councilman Bill Carlson urged council members to keep the message short and simple, warning the two-page resolution could spark a violent response.

“I thought that we should have a simple statement because a more complicated one could be misconstrued, especially by people with ill intentions.”

Carlson pointed to Miami Mayor Francis Suarez's recent suggestion that the U.S. should consider air strikes against Cuba.

“Go to Cuba, talk to the people there, they want change, but they don’t want war," said Carlson. "They don’t want the U.S. to invade and they don’t want the U.S. to take over like the U.S. did before.”