Tampa caravan: ‘End US embargo of Cuba!’

By Karl Butts
April 19, 2021
Courtesy of Carlos Lazo

TAMPA, Fla. — Some 40 people, mostly Cuban Americans, joined a car caravan here March 28, part of protests in the U.S. and around the world demanding the U.S. government end its nearly 60-year embargo against Cuba. The action was sponsored by Puentes de Amor (Bridges of Love), whose founder, school teacher Carlos Lazo, came from Seattle to participate.

Twenty cars decked out with Cuban flags set out from Ybor City. They included a large van plastered with handwritten signs against Washington’s ban on travel and trade with Cuba, restrictions on Cuban Americans sending remittances to relatives on the island, for normalization of state relations, and more.

Tens of thousands of Cubans worked in Ybor cigar factories over 100 years ago and supported the Cuban revolutionary uprising in 1895. José Martí, the historic Cuban revolutionary leader, helped build one of the largest chapters of his Cuban Revolutionary Party there.

The caravan garnered the most attention as it passed along Ybor’s main street, bustling with visitors and tourists, many of whom signaled support. La Gacetanewspaper ran a feature on the action, with photos and a statement by Lazo.

Next month participants plan to come early for sign making.