Image courtesy of Edel Rodriguez

As Cuban-Americans, we stand in solidarity with Black organizers in their historic struggle to end systemic racism and affirm that Black Lives Matter. While the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery were the catalysts of the ongoing global protests seeking justice, white power structures have prevented people of African descent — including Afro-Cubans — from obtaining economic opportunities, growing generational wealth, benefitting from an equitable education system, accessing health care, or even feeling safe inside their own homes and neighborhoods.

As advocates for human rights in Cuba, we’ve watched peaceful protests escalate into chaos with the excessive use of force by police with alarm. We believe in the freedom of speech, right to protest, and equal protection under the law. The protests that have taken place across the country are the purest expression of democracy, not a challenge to it. We all have the duty to listen to, learn from, amplify, and invest in these efforts. Communities have a right to determine how they’re policed and identify where resources are most needed. No agency, municipality, city, state, or country is above reproach or beyond reform.

We recognize that this work needs to start within our own community. While Cuban-Americans share a painful legacy of exile, family separation, and political violence, those of us who are white have not endured the systemic abuse and racial injustice Afro-Cubans faced and continue to experience in our adopted country. Our patriots and poets, our artists and musicians, our joys and heartbreaks bind us together. Yet too often, the politics of fear and division have kept us apart. The myth of a monolithic white Cuban diaspora and the unearned privilege of race allowed some members of our community to walk through doors when they could have broken down barriers for African-American, Haitian, and other Caribbean communities in U.S. cities. That needs to change.

By signing this letter in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, we commit to creating a space for all Cuban-Americans to engage with the cause of racial justice.

Join us by going to this link and adding your name: https://forms.gle/2U7SbwFnTet3C9YV8

This statement was prepared by Ana Sofía Peláez, Co-Founder of the Miami Freedom Project, Cherie Cancio of the Cuba One Foundation, and Felice Gorordo of Raíces de Esperanza, in solidarity with the following signatories:

Abbie B. Cuellar, Attorney, Miami

Ada Ferrer, Professor & Historian, New York City

Adrian Acosta, Attorney, Adrian Acosta PLLC, Miami

Adrian Villaraos, Attorney, Pinecrest, Miami

Agustin Castellanos, Media Coordinator

Ahmed Mori, Attorney, Miami

Aida De la Cruz Dean, Retired Teacher

Alana Greer, Attorney, Miami

Alejandra Piers-Torres, Government and Community Relations, Washington, DC

Alex Rosales, Programs Associate, Miami

Alexa Bohorques

Alexis Vargas, Motion Graphic Designer, Hialeah

Alia Almeida

Alicia de la O, Attorney

Alicia Pelaez, Miami

Amelia Arce, International Marketing

Amore Rodriguez , MSW, MPA

Ana Dopico, Professor

Ana Estorino Uribasterra, Miami Lakes

Ana Nunez, Attorney, Durham

Andrés Acebo, Lawyer

Angelica Carlozzi , Owner, Licensed Massage Therapist, Ocala

Anna Kushner, Translator/Writer, Jackson Heights, NY

Ani Soriano, Medical Administrator, Loving Souls, Hollywood

Annie Lord, Miami

Anyoli Font Bailey, Hialeah Kiwanis

Ariel Fernandez-Diaz, Music Biz Entrepreneur, Miami

Arielle Trujillo Brimacombe, Physical Therapist, Miami

Arlet Manso

Armamdo Vilaseca, Retired Vermont Secretary of Education, Cuban American Friendship Society, Westford, VT

Aymarah Robles, Pulmonary/Critical Care Physician

Barbara Cullen

Barbara Marquez-Prater, Customer Service Supervisor, Miami

Brian Erice, Video Game Developer

Caitlin Opperman, Break Something, Washington, D.C.

Carlos J. Martinez , Miami-Dade Public Defender, Miami

Carmen Peláez, Filmmaker, Miami

Carolina Figueredo, Registered Nurse, Boca Raton

Carolina Gorordo, Physical Therapist, Silver Spring, MD

Carolina McCabe, Student

Caryn Lavernia, AVP Engagement

Cassia DeMayo , Vocalist

Cecilia Almeida, Lawyer

Charles Walter, Communication Chair, Miami

Chelsea Gwizdala, Musician, Glendale

Christina LaRocca, Lawyer

Christina Rosalin Peña, Immigration Activist

Christina Rodriguez de Conte, Artist& Educator, Tallahassee

Christy Cancio, UpSwing Multimedia, Miami

Christy Vidal, Communications Strategist, Miami

Claudia Ansorena, Designer

Claudia Moris, Miami Lakes

Corinne DeBacher, Teacher

Cristina Blanco, Miami

Cristina García, Author and Playwright, San Francisco

Cristina Pla-Guzman, Teacher, Miami

Daniel Segundo, ASW

Daniela Ferrera, Community Activist

Dannielle Gonzalez, Student Life Counselor

David Barrios, New York

David de Cespedes, Technology Teacher

David González, Black Lives Matter, aDazzlingDove

Dayla Ruiz, Corporate trainer, Homestead

Debbie Bonora

Deborah Andres, Consulltant, Miami

Diana Fernandez

Dionisio Lamar, Handyman, Miami

Eduardo Ferrer, Attorney

Eduardo Placer, Founder and Entrepreneur, Fearless Communicators

Eileen DiFranco

Elise Ramos, Public Health Professional

Elizabeth Cerejido

Elizabeth Ortega, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Miami

Ellie Hidalgo, Dolores Mission, Los Angeles

Elsa Garcia, Lawyer and Teacher, Miami

Emily Jones, Graduate Student, Anthropology

Enrique Guzman Karell, Self employed, Miami

Erica Guzman

Ernesto Mendez, Pharmacist, Miami

Dr. Eva Silot Bravo, Director and Founder, Alafia Creative Entertainment, Miami

Evelyn Vigistain Pérez, Investments

Frank Garcia, Florida

Frank O. Mora, Professor, Miami

Gabriela Aleman Vassallo, Cuba Educational Travel, Miami

Gabriela De Francisco, Teacher, Miami

Gabriella Ibieta, University Professor

Gabrielle Mendoza, Valley Stream, NY

Geandy Pavón, Artist, New York

Geisy Sanz, Chicago

Gladis Sánchez, Attorney, New York

Gladys Herrera, Miami

Gloria Calderón Kellett, Producer, Los Angeles

Haidee Cano, LCSW

Hele Mendoza

Hilda Alvarez-Strang, Technical Writer, Miami

Hugo Cancio, Activist, Business Executive, Miami

Ibis Valdes, DEI Consultant, Ibis Valdes Consulting, LLC

Ileana Oroza, Miami

Iraida López, Professor, New Jersey

Iris Rodriguez, Hialeah

Isabel Moreira, Seattle

Ivette Elizondo, Paralegal, Miami

Ivette Rabeiro, Lawyer

Jackie Enriquez, University Administrator

JC Mendoza, Queens, NY

Jenny Lee Molina, Founder, JLPR + 305 Cafecito, Miami

Jessica Winn, Attorney, Boston

Jhon Cores, Research Laboratory Manager

Jillian Nogueira

Joey Greer, Los Angeles

Jonathan Klopp, Climate Change Practitioner, Miami

Jordi Vilasuso, Actor, Los Angeles

Jorge B. de Cárdenas, Attorney

Jorge Bonet, Hialeah, Fl

Jorge Quintana, Attorney, Montana

Jose Perez-Roura, Hospitality

Joseph Jenovese, Designer, Y.A.Bera Clothing

Juan Alonso-Rodríguez, Juan Alonso Studio, Seattle, WA

Juan Gabriel Roca-Paisley, Student

Juan Sanchez, Playwright, Miami

Juanky Campuzano, Producer/Freelancer

Judith De la Paz, Gainesville

Justin Borroto, Recruitment Manager, Washington, DC

Kasandra Landrian-Ramos

Katerina Dominguez, Legal Intern, Palm Beach Gardens

Katherine Ordoñez

Katina Sosa, Hospitality Management

Keytia Ortiz, Development Director

KM Fernandez

Kristen Merino, History Teacher, Miami

Kristian Sedeno, Banker, New York

Kristie-Anne Padron, Attorney, Miami

Laura Muñoz

Lauren Suarez, Psychologist

Leilani Bruce, Founder, CANDELA Book Club, Miami

Leon Ichaso, Writer and Director, Los Angeles

Leslie Alvarez, Chicago

Leslie Suárez

Lianet Vazquez, Medical Student

Lillian A. Tamayo, President, Planned Parenthood South, East and North Florida

Lisann Ramos, Writer, Project Pulso, Miami

Livia Romero, Quality Improvement Coordinator

Lorenzo Canizares, Co-Chair Labor Community Alliance of South Florida

Lourdes Toñarely, Substitute Teacher, Miami

Lucas Hernández, Technology Professional, Miami

Lucy Godínez , Actor

Luis Carlos Battista

Magda T. Garcia, Professor (ret.)

Magena Rodriguez, Attorney and Former Educator

Maggie Cikota

Maggie Ruiz, Student, Miami

Margarita Almeida, MD

Maria Bechily, Civic Leader, Miami Beach

Maria Cristina Chicuen, Community Organizer, Miami

Maria Dieguez, Miami Gardens

Maikel Farinas Borrego, Professor, Chapel Hill, NC

Maria Freed, Editor, Old Coconut Grove Houses, Coconut Grove, Florida

María Gilson, Program Coordinator

Maria C Gonzalez, Professor/Behavioral Health Field

Maria Elena Lopez, Property Manager, LLV Realty

María A Prio, Retired Mental Health Counselor, Miami

Maria de los Angeles Torres, Professor, University of Illinois, Chicago

Maria Ponciano, Teacher, Elmhurst

Maria Revello, Retired Educator, LUTZ

Maria Uribasterra

Maria Veliz, Ph.D Candidate, Miami

Mariah Jimenez Peña, Accountant, Memphis

Mariana Ferreiro, Pembroke Pines

Martha Ayon, Community Organizer

Martha Diaz-Reinold

Mary Ann Ruiz, Attorney

Mary Guzmán, Filmmaker, Theater Director, San Francisco

Melissa Medina Jiménez, President, eMerge Americas, Miami

Melody Santiago Cummings, O’Miami Poetry Festival, Miami

Mich Gonzalez, Immigrant & LGBTQ Rights Attorney

Michael Rivero, Sales

Michelle Llosa, Paralegal

Miguel Sirgado, Journalist, New York

Milagros Alvarez, Attorney, New Jersey

Miti Figueredo, lawyer, Silver Spring, MD

Monika Rivero, Administrative Program Coordinator

Natali Fernandez, Student

Natalie Castellanos, Attorney, Miami

Natalie Catasús, Atlanta

Natalie Martinez, Legislative Staffer

Natalee Rivero, Life & Mindset Coach

Nerida Rodriguez, Retired Accountant, Miami

Niurca Marquez, Artist/Educator

Norys Curbelo, Tampa

Pablo Medina, Artist, Brooklyn

Pablo Uribasterra

Patricia Pujals Brayfield, Pasadena

Pedro Greer, M.D., Physician/Academic

Penelope DiAlberto, Social Worker, Miami

Peter Fernandez, Entertainer, Miami

Phil Lord, Filmmaker, Los Angeles

Rafael Rodriguez, Law Enforcement, Miami

Raul Guzman, Miami

Rebeca Fernandez, Professor

Ricardo Herrero, Arlington, VA

Rigo Canal, Philadelphia

Romy Aranguiz, Medical Doctor

Rosa Maria Castaneda, Philanthropy

Rosie Hidalgo, Lawyer/Policy Director, Vienna, VA

Sabrina Scandar

Sanabel Mahmoud, Miami

Sandra Alvarez, Flight Attendant

Sandra Lue, New York

Silvia Clarke, Sales Executive

Silviana Guerra, Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Stephanie Machado-Lynch, Adjunct Professor

Susana Bejar, Physician

Susana Dia, School Counselor & Family Therapist, Miami

T. Sean McKean, Leadership Advisor, New York

Tania Bruguera, Artist, New York

Tatiana Balletti, Photographer, Tats Takes Shots, Miami

Teresa Erdman, Retired Banker, Cupertino

Teresa Reigosa, Researcher and Educator, Macon, Georgia

Teri Saff, Consultant, Millersville, MD

Tiffany Ellis, Nurse, Miami

Tomás Delgado, Medical Student, Hialeah

Tony (Toño) Haywood, Portfolio Manager

Vanessa Navarro Maza, Miami

Vanessa Pérez, Jeweler

Victor Gonzalez, Storyteller, Minneapolis

Victoria Alsina, Associate Marketing Manager

Victoria Casanova, Retired, FL

Vince Alvarez

Vivian Figueredo

Vivian Guzman-Valido, Goverment Admin

Vivian Charbonnet, Baton Rouge, LA

Vivian López-Mendoza, Translator/Editor

Vivianne Bohorques, Chief Operations Officer

Wifredo Fernandez

Yissel Cabrera, Attorney

Yosvani Oliva, Poet, Miami

Yvette Rodriguez, Afro-Latino Professionals of Miami, Tres Lindas Cubanas Cigars, Y.R. Public Relations, Miami

Yvonne Rodriguez, Afro-Latino Professionals of Miami, Tres Lindas Cubanas Cigars, Y.R. Public Relations, Miami

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Miami Freedom Project

Miami Freedom Project’s aim is to create a space for all Miamians to reclaim our voices and live our progressive values.