Cubans in Miami protest one year on

STORY: Protesters rallied around a monument to Brigade 2506, which honors a U.S. led campaign to overthrow Fidel Castro in 1960, to voice their concerns and make their case for freedom for the Caribbean island.

On July 11 last year, Cubans poured onto the streets of the island demanding social and economic reform in one of the largest demonstrations since the late Fidel Castro took power in 1959.

The protests were met with a crackdown entailing arrests and jail sentences considered abusive by human rights groups.

Cuban authorities have sanctioned 381 people, including 16 young people between the ages of 16 and 18, who participated in last summer's protests.

Of the 381 people sanctioned, a total of 297 have been sentenced to between 5 and 25 years in prison for crimes of sedition, sabotage, robbery with force, and public disorder, according to the attorney general's office in a statement released to state media.

On July 9 of this year, the U.S. State Department announced visa restrictions against 28 Cuban officials that it said were implicated in the crackdown.

In a statement, the department said the restrictions would apply to high-ranking members of the Cuban Communist Party and officials who work in the country's state communications and media sectors.

More than 140,000 Cubans, from all walks of life, have left for the United States since October, U.S. government figures show, the largest exodus from Cuba in decades.

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