Protesters around the world seem to know what too many Americans have forgotten: that the American flag is the greatest symbol of independence and liberty that has ever been known. 

That is exactly why a number of Cubans continue to wave and march with American flags in their hands as they protest the failing communist regime on the island.

Thousands of protesters in over 40 cities have now taken to the streets in Cuba to declare their desire for freedom and voice their frustrations with their communist authoritarian government. This is no small thing. Never before have we seen in Cuba protests of this scale.

These are people who know the potential cost of their actions. Their public opposition to the regime could mean their death. Already, over 100 people have gone missing. Dozens have been arrested. Protesters have been beaten by security forces. Cuba’s president has labeled protesters “counter-revolutionaries” and has called for force against them.

For over 60 years, dictators have run Cuba, oppressing the people and stifling growth and prosperity. While the people starve, party elites have sucked up power and wealth. While housing crumbles, new hotels and resorts are built to bring money to the government. While the communists declare liberation, they silence and crush the freedoms of the people.

In order to stifle the protests and the transmission of videos highlighting government violence, the Cuban government shut down internet on the island. This was a blatant attempt to block communications amongst the grassroots organizers of this tremendous display of opposition.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis even called on Florida-based companies to attempt to provide internet access to the people of Cuba during this time. He noted in a press conference that communist regime leaders “don’t want the truth to be out, they don’t want people to be able to communicate.”

Just 90 miles away from American shores, many of the Cuban people look to our nation for hope. Thousands of Americans themselves have experienced the horrors of the Cuban regime or have relatives that are still there, which makes this moment all the more important.

Every American should seek to support the Cuban people and denounce the communist government. After 60 years, a nation stands stuck in the past, clinging to a broken economic and political system that has left far too many in poverty. Our political leaders should be held to account and we ought to demand the utmost clarity in their condemnations of the Cuban regime.

The failures of the Cuban government are a stark reminder to those who call for socialism and communism to be implemented in the United States. Those political ideologies have failed in both a spectacular and consistent manner. They have failed systematically across cultures and continents. The loud cries of the Cuban people should be a chilling wake-up call to all those who advocate for or tolerate these vicious ideologies in Mississippi and the rest of the United States.