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Interview with Irina Vilariño: A Success Story of a Cuban Restaurant

La historia de una familia de exiliados cubanos que construyó una exitosa cadena de restaurantes

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When Fidel Castro loosened the cracks on the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 —an attempted face-saving reactive strategy after the humiliation of having over 10,000 Cubans storm the Peruvian Embassy in Havana in less than 24 hours in search of freedom— the Cuban dictator had no idea how much talent and entrepreneurship spirit was leaving Cuba. The Vilariño family is one such example.

A republican political system, with its natural economic complement of a free enterprise model, brings out the best in people. The scope of freedom, hard work and individual initiative to overcome obstacles show that great things are indeed possible in the United States.

Irina Vilariño, one of the five daughters of Antonio and Nilda, bears witness to the opportunities rendered upon their arrival in the United States in 1980. Not speaking English, but fully determined to make the American Dream a reality, after much sacrifice and in search of opportunities, the Vilariño family opened their first restaurant in Hollywood four years after their arrival.

A young child, Irina remembers how her father ventured out to provide for his family, after the customary immigration vetting’s but without, as she pointed out in her interview with El American, “any federal favoritism,” meaning governmental financial assistance.

In fact, Irina precisely credits the non-interventionist nature of America’s competitive capitalist system with her family’s ability to build the successful Las Vegas Restaurant chain established throughout numerous locations in Southern Florida, including Miami Beach, Doral (two), Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale (two), Hollywood, (two), Pembroke Pines (two), Plantation, and Hallandale Beach.

Well-versed in politics and attentive to the many challenges now facing America from socialism, Irina cited valid concerns over the future of a free society, the middle class, the family, religion, and the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Speaking as a business owner, she reiterated the hostile environment being fomented against small and independent businesses by leftism, statist policies, Big Tech, and Big Corporate wokism. No one should miss this informative interview!

Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.

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