Florida 1199ers Rally To Support Cuban Freedom & FairnessSeptember 13, 2021
Members 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East rallied in Miami July 16 to show unity with Cuban citizens demanding freedom and fairness after decades of government tyranny, violence and corruption.
Caregivers and other staff at Kendall Regional Medical Center marched, displayed signs and chanted support for brave Cubans who have taken to the streets calling for basic living needs and government reform.
“We’re excited that our brothers and sisters are speaking up across Cuba to demand what is right. The violent and brutal response of the Cuban government is not surprising, but still very sad. Our message to the Cuban people is to stay strong and know that we are with you,” said Joaquin Garcia, an X-ray technician at Kendall Regional.
“No citizens—here in the U.S., in Cuba, in Haiti, or anywhere around the world—should live in fear of their governments, their leaders or their police. Governments should do all they can to protect and help their citizens prosper safely and freely.”
“The violent and brutal response of the Cuban government is not surprising, but still very sad. Our message to the Cuban people is to stay strong and know that we are with you.”
– Joaquin Garcia,
The Kendall rally of 1199SEIU caregivers drew beeps of approval from rush-hour passersby. “Freedom for Cuba, ital patria y vida !” cheered Ivianne Cartamil, waving both American and Cuban flags. Cartamil is a registered nurse in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
“So many of our members are Cuban, Haitian and from other countries with governments that oppress and victimize their people.
That’s a big reason why they’re here in the U.S., seeking freedom and opportunity,” said Dale Ewart, 1199SEIU executive vice president.
“No matter where we’re from, we all feel this pain, but also the hope for change and better days to come. That is what our union is about: freedom, security and prosperity for our hardworking members and families.”