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'Free Cuba' protesters caravan across Jacksonville, push for U.S. government to do more

Protesters caravanned from Jacksonville Beach to the Landing downtown, led by a truck with the sign "SOS Cuba."

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — No food. No medicine. No freedom in Cuba. This is why protesters on the First Coast say they are taking to Jacksonville's streets.

On Saturday, protesters caravanned from Jacksonville Beach to the Landing downtown, led by a truck with the sign "SOS Cuba."

Protesters want the U.S. to do more to help Cubans fighting for what America stands for. They also want more fellow community members to stand with them so that those fighting for freedom in Cuba can see they are not fighting alone.

"For 62 years we've been asking for food; we had been denied," Barbara Guadarrama told a crowd of protesters at the Landing. "For 62 years we have been asking for medicine; it was denied."

Many protesters were born in Cuba like Jose Martinez.

"The Cuban people have been living for 62 years under the boot of communists," he said. "I was four years old when that began. You are afraid all day."

Others still have family in Cuba like Heidys Sancho.

"They have no medicine," she said. "I'm very worried because if my family, they go to the hospital, I'm pretty sure they not gonna have any medicine."

Many of the protesters say the U.S. is not doing enough.

RELATED: Jacksonville city councilmember files resolution, calls for support of Cuban protestors

"Just basic human rights are being violated and that's why we are asking for intervention," Guadarrama said. "That's why we're asking for the United States to do something."

Jacksonville City Councilmember Al Ferraro filed a resolution asking the city to express solidarity with Cuban protestors. Governor Ron DeSantis has called for tougher actions from the Biden administration. On Thursday, President Joe Biden announced sanctions on a top Cuban military official and police unit.

Protesters say the protests in Cuba have been going on for 62 years in the making.

"You live in a communist country," Martinez said. "It's not easy to make a little movement. You cannot move."

Now that movement is happening, protesters say they must use their freedom in America to fight for those who don't have it in Cuba.

RELATED: US imposes new Cuba sanctions over human rights abuses