Tens of thousands of Cuban exiles wearing white, and carrying gladioluses and flags marched for blocks along Calle Ocho with singer Gloria Estefan in support of Cuba's Damas de Blanco, Ladies in White, the peaceful dissidents who last week were attacked by government security forces in Havana.
In an unprecedented turn of events, the Ladies in White marched at the same time along Havana's famous seawall, stopping in front of the Hotel Nacional to release a dozen doves.
"¡Libertad! ¡Libertad!" the women chanted.
They were soon hassled by a mob that chanted: "Fidel! Fidel!"
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
In Miami, the throng of marchers, which included different generations of exiles and other Latin Americans, also chanted "¡Libertad!" and displayed placards with photographs of jailed dissidents and the Ladies in White. "Obama, yes, we have a dream, too," one sign said.
It was a rare show of unity in a community often divided over how to bring democracy to Cuba, and Estefan, whose appeal crosses several generations of Cubans, seems to have emerged as its strong new voice.
"Thank you, Miami," Estefan said as she took the podium. "This shows we're one people. We are the people that love and defend freedom."
To read the complete article, visit www.miamiherald.com.