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Former political prisoner keeps #SOSCuba movement alive

Eusebia Sanchez has been part of the demonstrations in Tampa for at least the past week.

TAMPA, Fla. — Right when she was about to leave Cuba, Eusebia Sanchez says the government stopped her.

"They told me, 'If you go to the United States, you have to work for communism. You have to work for Castro.' In that moment I quit and said, 'No,'" she said. 

Sanchez believes she would've been one of the many trained by Castro to spread communism throughout the world. She knew she had to say no after seeing her dad tortured.

"My father killed himself because they made his life impossible in 1961. They didn't let him live," Sanchez said.

Her will to say "no" made her one of 28 people arrested at that time for going against the Cuban regime more than 40 years ago.

"That's why I have to be here while I'm free and I can walk and talk because the world needs to know this. Diaz-Canel [the president of Cuba] is like a son of Fidel. He's the descendent of communism," Sanchez said.

Eusebia's story is what keeps the corner of N. Dale Mabry and W. Columbus in Tampa packed for demonstrations every single day for the past week. Her passion ignites the will to fight.

"I feel so proud of my Cubans. I feel so proud and so sad at the same time. They spent 20 years of their life in prison," Crice Santos said.

Santos came from Cuba herself years ago and says former political prisoners keep her pushing for freedom.

"I'm so emotional too because this touched my heart. The fact that this woman is here showing the reality of what's happening in Cuba and showing what we need to do while we keep fighting makes me emotional and gives me the strength to keep doing this," Santos said.

The movement in Cuba is continuing to grow. Demonstrators in Tampa found out from their family members on the island that a protest is being coordinated for this weekend. They'll take to the streets on the same day thousands of Cubans protest in front of the White House.

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