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Barry University Institute for Immigration Studies Issues Statement on Cuba Protests

By Meredith Amor
Director of Communications, Barry University

July 16, 20212, Miami, Florida – Dr. Giselle Elgarresta Rios, Founding Director of the Barry University Institute for Immigration Studies, released the following statement in response to unprecedented protests in Cuba and support in South Florida and across the United States:

“The youth demanding liberty in Cuba are taking up the charge of generations past who have sought freedom for decades. The spontaneous uprising is the culmination of years of repression and lack of access to necessities, compounded by the devastation of the global health crisis; the people have reached their breaking point and lost their fear of retribution.

Our South Florida community is so deeply tied to Cuba and we stand with those who call for liberty.”

The Barry University Institute for Immigration Studies was founded in 2021 with the aim of promoting education and understanding of the South Florida immigrant experience; Preserving the stories, artifacts, and traditions associated with the immigrant experience in South Florida; and providing opportunities for interdisciplinary research, scholarship and creative activity surrounding the immigration experience in South Florida.

John L Couriel, Board Member and Past President of Operation Pedro Pan Group, Inc. and member of the Institute for Immigration Studies External Advisory Board, also expressed words of solidarity. “I strongly support the people of Cuba in their desire for freedom, a right to liberty that has been denied to them since 1959,” he said.


Feature photo: This traveling sculpture, Angels Unawares, depicts immigrants and refugees fleeing on a boat and is a replica of the sculpture on St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican. It formed the backdrop for the March 2021 dedication of Barry University’s Institute for Immigration Studies. Photo Courtesy of the Communications Office, Barry University

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