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Milwaukee-area families worried about loved ones amid tensions in Cuba

Posted at 10:36 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 23:47:01-04

MILWAUKEE — Tensions are rising in Cuba as many are struggling to make it to the next day with limited food, water and basic resources.

"The internet is shut down, people are protesting," said Marc Bianchini, co-owner of Cubanitas.

Bianchini currently has in-laws living in Cuba. He was unable to contact them for several days as communication was cut off.

While many believe this is the aftermath of the pandemic, Bianchini believes the lack of basic food and resources has been a constant problem in Cuba for years.

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The Cubanitas couple has been serving authentic Cuban meals all throughout Milwaukee for years. Now knowing their family is living with limited resources and rations of food, they feel helpless.

"I want them to know now that this is so important right now for the Cuban people to work out in their favor, because it's literally life and death," shared Bianchini.

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Marlene Espinosa, another local from Cuba, is dealing with the same helpless pain. Just last Sunday evening she was calling her nephew living in Cuba to make sure he was safe, but the call dropped abruptly and she was unable to reach him after that.

"I wanted to see what was going on, if he is OK out on the streets, to be careful," said Espinosa.

We asked Espinosa if she wanted to try calling him again, and thankfully she was relieved to hear his voice. While her nephew assured her he was fine, she still had her doubts that he was lying, knowing the call could have been monitored.

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"I don't want them to go to their house and do something, because they'll just rip you out of your house," said Espinosa.

As for the Bianchini family, their goal is to spread awareness in hope of seeing real change.

This Sunday, locals are planning a peaceful protest at Mitchell Park in support of Cuba.

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