Cuban Community Rallies to Support Hotelier Who Equated Black Lives Matter with Mafia

A restaurateur who came to US as an 18-year old refugee has received threats from BLM protesters regarding his business.

Fernando Martinez is a restaurateur in Louisville, Kentucky, who came to the United States of America as a refugee when he was 18. Apparently, he arrived on the US shore on a raft escaping the socialist government of his native country Cuba. Now, a citizen of the US, he finds himself in the midst of the ongoing social upheaval in the country over issues of race.

Martinez claims that Black Lives Matter is threatening his restaurant and business in a way that he equated to "mafia tactics." The Cuban Immigrant is a partner in the Ole Restaurant Group. He took to Facebook and wrote about how unjust the treatment that he claims to be receiving from BLM protestors is.

"There comes a time in life that you have to make a stand and you have to really prove your convictions and what you believe in. All good people need to denounce this. How can you justified (sic) injustice with more injustice?" The post read.

Cuban protestors
Protestors outside Martinez's restaurant Twitter/David J Kim

Threatening Letters

The information about threatening letters from BLM supporters to businesses in the New Louisville area, better known as NuLu, is already in the public domain after having been reported by a local newspaper.

The letters, as per the report, demand that businesses hire 23% of their employees from the black community and source 23% of their required materials from black retailers. They have also demanded that 1.5% of their net sales should be given to organizations working for the welfare of the black community.

The paper also reported that the protesters who gave the letter to Martinez also told him to put it up on his front door so that "your business is not f***ed with." Martinez has now made an emotional appeal on Facebook on which he states his distress.

Louisville protest
Louisville has seen large protests by BLM Twitter

Cuban Community's Response

As a response to this disclosure, the Cuban community of Louisville has rallied behind him and held a demonstration to show their solidarity. Around 100 members of Cuban descent came to his restaurant La Bodeguita de Mima and listened to his impassioned speech.

"How can I be called a bigot and a racist when my family is Black? When my son is gay? I'm the proud father of a gay son, and I'm gonna fight for him against anybody," Martinez told the crowd which responded with great applause. He also talked about the absence of discrimination in his restaurant.

"La Bodeguita is open to everybody. If you're gay, this is your home. If you're Black, this is your home. If you're white, this is your home. If you're human, this is your home," he asserted. However, there is opposition to his move and some prominent people from the African-American community have talked about boycotting Martinez's restaurant.