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Clewiston man says he protests for Cubans as tribute to his family

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Clewiston man says he protests for Cubans as tribute to his family
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-15 18:55:25-04

CLEWISTON, Fla. — Johnny Navarro didn’t grow up in Cuba, but he knows his heritage.

That’s in part thanks to his great grandmother, known affectionately as Mima.

“She’s the heart and soul of our family,” he said.

She gathered her nine children in 1968 and came to America.

Navarro’s great grandfather also fought as an American to overthrow former Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

He’s been protesting in front of Clewiston Park all week for his cousins in Cuba.

“They want freedom. These people want their basic human rights. They want the ability to have free speech. They have nothing. They have their food rationed for them,” he said.

He says his family’s sacrifice made it possible for him to fight for those who don’t have the same privilege.

“I’m doing it for the Cuban people that made the trip over here to the United States that came over here to give a better life for their families so that we - us - the next generation that was raised here can go out there and fight for the Cuban people here in the United States,” said Navarro.

So, he started banging his pot along side his Aunt Elizabeth Cruz, who sat right next to him during a Fox 4 interview Thursday.

Aunt Liz as he calls her, shared a message to Cubans fighting for freedom, who she says may only hear the misinformation passed on to them by the Cuban government.

Navarro translated for her.

“They blame the embargo. The embargo this and the embargo that. And the United States doesn’t care about you. So, we just want to put this out there. We’re here for you. We care about you. And we’re making noise for you, and we’ll be in D.C. this weekend for you,” he said.

Navarro’s driving over to Miami Friday, where buses will carry thousands of people to Washington D.C. where they plan to protest first thing Saturday morning.