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A New York-based restaurant that was “inspired” by “Che” Guevara and Fidel Castro will open a branch in Miami, Florida. Even before opening its doors, the establishment already has a serious problem with Cuban-American citizens residing in the Sunshine State.
Café Habana, which opened its first location in New York in the late 90s, offers a curious mix between Cuban and Mexican cuisine.
“Inspired by a storied Mexico City hangout, where legend has it ‘Che’ Guevara and Fidel Castro plotted the Cuban Revolution,” says the restaurant’s website. The description, however, was changed from both the website and Google search after Miami residents discovered it and reacted unfavorably.
Reaction from Cubans in Miami
A popular Cuban-American podcaster named Josué Álvarez was one of the first to draw attention to Café Habana’s communist inspiration and sent a message from his networks to Sean Meenan, the owner of the franchise.
“I’m sorry, Sean Meenan, but here in Miami there are two things that we do not accept: communism and the gringos making croquettes,” Alvarez said in his video, adding that the concept of mixing Mexican and Cuban food “is already an insult.”
Comments from Cuban-American Miami residents on Alvarez’s post, which already has nearly 19,000 views, speak for themselves. “This is my worst nightmare,” “what the hell is this,” “we need a boycott at their doors from day one,” are some of the comments from users.
Cuban-American political scientist and journalist, also director of the website Patria de Martí and analyst for El American, Julio M. Shiling, says that the idea of a restaurant inspired by Fidel Castro goes far beyond a mere tribute to the Cuban tyrant, and possible intentions are hidden behind the facade of Café Habana.
“The idea of opening a Castro restaurant in Miami obeys not the intention of a merchant to start a business,” Shilling told El American. “It is the express intention of an official of the dictatorship, directly or indirectly, to try to whitewash Cuban communism.”
For his part, conservative and Cuban-American communications strategist Giancarlo Sopo said on his Twitter account that he finds it “grotesque” and that they are only “ruining” the Cuban community in Miami.
Twitter users also reacted to the news. Among them, several conservative political and media figures offered their opinions.
Christina Pushaw, press secretary for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, called on communists to “go back to NYC” because they “are not welcome in Florida.”
EFlorida Representative in Congress Carlos Gimenez tweeted, “If you are inspired by murderers such as Fidel Castro and ‘El Che’, you belong in Cuba and not Miami.”
El editor y periodista Guy Editor and journalist Guy Benson commented a simple, “Oops.”
Journalism veteran and now Daily Wire columnist Emily Zanotti tweeted, “How do you say ‘cringe’ in Spanish.”
National Review host and political commentator Jeff Blehar “cannot believe” it wasn’t an article in the satirical The Onion.
Davis Harsanyi, senior editor of National Review, suggests, “Read the room, commies.”
The executive editor of the Washington Examiner magazine laughs and comments, “lmao rarely has there been a room so un-read.”
According to its website, the restaurant will open in Brickell in the summer of 2022.