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Columbus family cut off from communicating with loved ones in Cuba

As protests continue in Cuba, those with family are unable to communicate with them through online messaging apps or social media because of government control.

Protests continue in Cuba over the worsening economic crisis. President Biden called on the government of the island nation to, ‘refrain from violence or attempts to silence the voice of the people of Cuba.’

The island nation’s leader, President Miguel Diaz-Canel blamed the economic turmoil on the U.S. trade embargo.

CBS News reports the Biden Administration will review its policy toward the communist nation, including whether to ease or maintain economic sanctions.

Silencing voices is what one Columbus family has experienced since the protests started.

Lourdes Barroso de Padilla has contacted family through social media and online messaging apps but has not received any response.

“What’s happening in Cuba is really, not just happening in this country but around the world, right? All of these problems were problems we’ve had long before this pandemic,” said Barroso de Padilla. “The challenges, when you take oppressed people and oppress them even further eventually something is going to happen.”

Protests against communist government are triggered by food shortages, rising prices, and the government's response to rising covid infections.

Her mother, Maida Barroso moved to the United States when she was 30. She lived part of her life in Cuba while the country was under Prime Minister Fidel Castro.

Barroso says she has seen protests before, but never like this.

"It surprised me because the people are not scared to talk now,” said Barroso. “They do that before, before now, you would never see those people again.”

“The chant that struck me the most was when people were chanting we are not afraid,” said Barroso de Padilla. “And that is the thing that has been keeping people down is fear. Fear of losing your freedom, your livelihood, your life even.”