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NPR's All Things Considered
Broadcast 25/04/2000, Story 9

Today in miami there was a general strike to protest the federal government's use of force to take a leon can solace from his miami about that it's cuban exile leaders call for people to stay home as a peaceful way to show the community's anger at the predawn raid on saturday and p. r.'s debbie elliott reports from member station w. l. r. n. in miami

Despite lots of little havana are strangely empty today along a street the main thoroughfare known as high a a show here nearly every storefront been shattered with metal rolled down doors locked behind iron bars

The coffee shop windows are boarded the flower shop and dry cleaners are close even the popular fast food chain stores like mcdonalds and burger king are dark and empty chairs that's upside down on table fernando sanchez is standing on the sidewalk in front of a pawnshop you know it is moving toward

There's intense growth of gray stubble on his face as if it were the weekend

He's turned away customers but he's not worried about losing business world today a guy who's tomorrow i go to

Also on friday i didn't mean to me i don't know you but i don't do that you don't know

Sanchez says he came to the united states from cuba because he thought this country stands for human rights and liberties but after what happened here last week and he's not so sure and miami's cuban american community the sense of outrage over the taking of a leon is still fresh


This caravan started on friday a list of nations supporting the samples from the start of the season and united states last point more cars joined in the protesters made their way through downtown other protesters headed over to the house where a leon was taken from his relatives

The chain link fence surrounding the house has become a makeshift shrine of flowers and photographs including blown up versions of the arms federal rate construction worker jose clemente a. is one of the thousands of people who didn't go to work or school today in hopes of sending a message to the government of the messages that we over the diary already some black to leave

Yeah but i do believe that they hunt down with us i'm not going to get trapped some day began

Marina in downtown toronto was dressed in black a crucifix tend to her blouse she hopes the work stoppage will prove the power of the cuban exile community in south florida

It's a feeling that we have a lot of money that given tools today that

The reason we're gonna about a quarter of the city's work force to cuban americans and many small businesses here are are owned by cubans protest organizers wanted to create what they called a dead city but outside of little havana there's been only a small impact rush hour traffic was lighter than usual this morning and parking spaces were easier to come by many of the small retail stores and cafes downtown are closed

But airport officials report minimal absenteeism and say flights are running on schedule tonight for florida marlins baseball players say they'll send out a home game against san francisco in honor of the daily on protests debbie elliott n. p. r. news miami

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