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Chasing Freedom in America: This is How One Venezuelan Journalist Fled Socialism

“The United States Continues to Be a Country of Opportunities”: The testimony of a Hispanic Journalist who Found Success in Miami

“When you find yourself alone, you first value the friendships you have around you and make them family; and second, you value and love any opportunity that helps you grow”

[Leer en español]

In 2017, Antonella González arrived in the United States chasing the love of her life. After four years in this country, she now has the privilege of fulfilling several roles: sports journalist at Fubo TV, mother of her baby Diego, owner of a food truck and wife of Victor Muñoz, a renowned Venezuelan musician admired among the Latin culture.

Antonella had emigrated from Venezuela twice. The first time was to study for a postgraduate degree at the European University of Madrid (Spain). The second time was because the regime of Nicolás Maduro prevented her from exercising her career as a sports journalist at Directv Sport when the regime withdrew all licenses to broadcast Venezuelan soccer from the international channel.

“I always wanted to practice my profession in my country […] I was betting on growing professionally in Venezuela, and although I was able to practice my career with Directv Sports, the political situation became complicated and it got worse when Directv Sports was taken away their television rights of Venezuelan soccer, which was what I was working on, and when the rights were taken away overnight, I decided to emigrate to Panama,” González explained.

Antonella left Venezuela for Panama, Antonella managed to work at TVN as a sports journalist. During her stay in the Central American country, she met Victor Muñoz during one of his concerts, and it was there where their love story and migration to the United States began.

For Antonella, the United States is a nation of opportunities that opens its doors to orderly and legal migration. What she likes most about living in the country is that she now sees her grow up as a journalist, mother, and businesswoman.

“I love the cultural mix in Miami, especially because when you travel and live in countries where cultural diversity is great, it enriches you, and also seeing that there are so many Venezuelans who are progressing and have had the opportunity to grow makes you feel at home and motivates you to have the vision that you can do it,” she said.

She explained that although she arrived in the United States hand in hand with her husband, she had to start her professional life from scratch. Now she is grateful to the country that has allowed her to settle and grow.

“I arrived in this country with a suitcase, and although I came to establish a love relationship, you can never be sure that it will work out. I arrived without knowing the cultural idiosyncrasy of the Americans and, above all, the system, which I think is the most complicated thing […] I believe that having the willingness, the knowledge to adapt to the system, gives you a guarantee of opportunities to grow, develop and establish yourself in a country like the United States,” she added.

"The United States Continues to Be a Country of Opportunities": The testimony of a Hispanic Journalist who Found Success in Miami
Antonella González is a sports journalist for Fubo TV after 4 years without being able to practice her career.

Antonella González: “There is room for everyone”.

“I believe that here there is work and room for everyone and that is what I always tell to people who arrive and do right things. If you do things right, if you manage to establish yourself and migrate legally to the United States, there are thousands of opportunities to start from scratch and grow little by little,” she said

Antonella told us that despite being the wife of Victor Muñoz, who did allow her to settle legally in the United States, it was she who made her own way to practice her profession, the sports journalist she always wanted to be

Photograph of the wedding ceremony between Victor Muñoz and Antonella Gonzalez.

“He helped me to establish myself legally in the United States, but from there I was in charge of making my way to grow professionally, to start from scratch and to do what I am passionate about, which is my career, sports journalism, and I achieved that after four years arriving in the United States,” he says.

“We’ve all started from scratch.”

Antonella told El American that for most people coming to the United States as a migrant means starting from scratch. She said that not everyone has the contacts to start a business and get ahead, but even so it is a country that allows progress.

“I think that here we have all started from scratch, even Victor, Latin singers and artists working in the music industry have had to start from scratch and adapt to the U.S. system. It is completely different to be famous and have a musical career in Venezuela than to have it in the United States; so I think it has worked for me to have Victor as my team, that person who motivates me, who believes in me and who motivated me to pursue my dream,” he explained.

To get a job as a host and sports commentator at Fubo TV, Antonella had to attend five interviews and castings at the channel.

“The company where I work, which is called FuboTV, is an American one. I had to go through five interviews, two castings, in English, in Spanish where I myself has to paved my own way to be today in FuboTV with a lot of effort. You go through moments of frustration, moments where you say you will not be able to do what you love again, but in the end being emotionally stable and having people by your side who support you and who believe in you is important,” she added.

“When you emigrate, everything is taken away from you.”

“When you emigrate they take absolutely everything from you, they leave you without a soul, without a body, without a family; I don’t have my family here, my mom and dad live in Tenerife, my sister lives in London, my uncles still live in Margarita, I have no one to knock on the door to ask the favor of taking care of Diego […] when you are alone, first you value the friendships you have around and turn them into family; and second you value and love any opportunity that helps you grow,” he said.

Antonella González with her husband Víctor and their son Diego.

Galipán Bistro: with a taste of home

Antonella and Victor—despite having careers of their own—decided to start a Food Truck project called “Galipán Bistro”. The name comes from a small town located on the northern slope of the renowned El Avila hill.

“It’s a project that started before the pandemic and was put on hold because obviously during all this time we were all hit economically, but later we wanted to take it up again because first, Victor loves gastronomy; and second, it was something that was outside of our jobs and that could also bring us together as a family,” he explained.

General view of Galipán Bistro.

“We wanted to give it a name that reminded us of home. In fact, we sell Venezuelan black barbecue hamburgers, pork leg hamburgers, tequeños… but it is also a mix of Latin and Venezuelan food, but in the end we are from Caracas, we grew up watching El Ávila and we wanted something to be part of our identity as Venezuelans,” she said.

Antonella tells us that although it has not been easy to push the project forward, they have the best energy to move forward.

“The project has not been easy. Starting a cooking project is very complicated, but above all it has not been easy because it is difficult to find employees who will stay in the job for the long term. Right now we have two Venezuelan employees, and we have to cook, prepare, attend, serve […] here we have to do everything and get rid of our egos because egos do not exist and from not knowing how to prepare a hamburger, today I prepare all the dishes on the menu and I do it with the best disposition, I have found the love for cooking”, he added.

Galipán Bistro is not only a food truck of Latin flavors, it is also accompanied by a food truck of healthy drinks that people come to combine. There are those who eat a hamburger and drink a healthy shake.

“Our teas have become famous because they have no sugar, they have natural caffeine, they have guarana, they have collagen, aloe for digestion and people have become super-fans of the teas; especially those who play paddle tennis; and, as for the hamburgers, the most famous is the roast and the pork leg are our personal brand because they are delicious,” she said.

Mom, journalist and full-time entrepreneur: “It’s not easy”.

Antonella said that she and her husband take turns to fulfill all the roles. However, when Victor is forced to travel for work, she takes responsibility for everything. She assures that “it is not easy at all”.

“It is not easy, there were days when I slept 5 to 6 hours, but in the end I believe that everything is temporary and that you are rewarded when you see that things are being achieved, especially when you are growing and progressing; and when you get home what you want is to sit down, but you feel at peace with yourself that you are doing the right things,” she said.

Screenshot from Antonella’s Instagram

USA, “a country of opportunities”

Antonella was grateful for the opportunities that life has given her, but especially for the opportunities that the United States offered her as a migrant.

“The United States is a country of opportunities, it is a country that makes you feel at ease; that yes, you have to work a lot, you have to get rid of egos, you have to know that you have to start from scratch and not get carried away by what is around […] if you arrive without egos and with a good financial and action plan with the organization in a period of 2 to 3 years you will see spectacular progress,” she said.

To conclude, she reminded us that “we are all citizens of the world, and migration is good if it is done well, if it is done legally, if it is done with the desire to prosper, I believe it is good for any country. And we lived it for many years in Venezuela, when we were little kids we had a migration that helped progress Venezuela; each colony was in charge of empowering the country and we had a very rich country for years, we have the best example of our past that migration can really work for a country”.

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