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Looking for connection: Cubans in Tampa try to find ways to talk to their family on the island

Families demonstrating here at home haven't spoken to their loved ones since the internet was cut off in Cuba.

TAMPA, Fla — It's not hard for you to see and hear the hundreds of Cubans chanting for freedom at a busy intersection near Raymond James Stadium. 

"I may be Tampeño, I may be from Tampa, but my blood is in Cuba. My family is in Cuba. That's why I stand here every day," Kevin Morejon said.

The 27-year-old waves his country's flag for the 5th day in a row on Thursday afternoon.

"I have a lot of family still left in Cuba and a lot of family I still haven't heard from," Morejon said.

He gets emotional when he thinks about what they could be going through. He isn't the only one with family in the crowd.

"All of my family is still there," Yanaisi Acosta Rodriguez said. 

Her brother was arrested for protesting on the island. Once the internet on the island was shut down, she lost connection with them. She says they were able to download an app and reach out to her. 

"Today I was finally able to talk to them after all of these days," Acosta Rodriguez said.

Holding up her phone she shows two officers outside of her home. Her family says they're being kept inside.

"They don't want them to leave the house. They want to keep them home to stop them from going out to protest and ask for freedom," Acosta Rodriguez said. 

Families say the Cuban government is trying to silence their voices, so here at home, they fight.

"At this point, it's for basic human rights. It's different if we were fighting for something that didn't make sense, but at this point, we're fighting just for them to be able to live," Morejon said.

Cubans in Tampa don't want their family members on the island to give up. They'll continue trying to find ways to connect with them from miles away.

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