When Fidel Castro took power, many Chinese immigrants fled to the U.S.
La Caridad 78, a restaurant on the Upper West Side of New York City, was born out of cultural mergers and mass migration. According to the video, La Caridad 78, founded in 1972, is believed to be the only Cuban-Chinese restaurant that still exists in New York City. The restaurant gives diners a look into the past, when Chinese and Cuban culture collided. As the video above explains, Havana, Cuba, like most major cities in the world, had a thriving Chinatown created by Chinese immigrants. The rise of Fidel Castro led to mass migration of Cubans out of Cuba, and many of them brought Cuban-Chinese food to the United States. For adventurous and curious foodies, it is a place where one can go and order a nice meal consisting of platanos maduros and shrimp fried rice. Being the last restaurant of its kind is also a reminder of the rapid depletion of Cuban-Chinese culture and community in NYC.
“I started working at La Caridad in 1986. I was born in Havana, Cuba in 1961,” Antonio Wong told Great Big Story. “I’m the last Cuban working in the restaurant.”
“The Cuban-Chinese people are getting older and they don’t have any younger people taking over,” Sam Lee, the owner and son of the founder of La Caridad 78, told Great Big Story. “I myself feel like I owe my father who started this restaurant. So I want to try to make sure that I carry on the tradition for him.”
Last week, California Polytechnic State University student, April Olvera posted a video sent to her by her mamá, and the video went viral, already wracking up nearly ten million views, and nearly one million likes in less than seven days.
Olvera, away at college, texted her mom, Silvia Dominguez, to say that she didn’t know how to fold a burrito, and her mom sent her a video that contained a soothing video-folding lesson.
While some couldn’t help but wonder why Olvera didn’t know how to fold a burro, her mamí’s special brand of cariño shown in the forty-second burrito-folding lesson was the focus of the comments that followed.
Other Latinas needed the lesson too!
Another Latina Twitter user, couldn’t get over the way Olvera’s mother, Silvia, repeated the lesson.
Two guys commented on Olvera’s mom’s soothing voice, but we think @carys_arsenic nailed it.
And this guy too who points out Ms. Dominguez’s calm in the face of a world that seems to be coming apart at the seams.
When Olvera told her mother that her video went viral and inspired so many positive comments, Dominguez said, “Maybe it’s not the burrito. Maybe it’s about family and love.”
Burrito-folding-lesson mom, Silvia Dominguez, speaks Spanish in the video, smiling the whole time, clearly happy to be able to help her daughter away at college with anything, using her own phone propped up on the counter to capture the lesson.
“Okay,” she says in Spanish, holding up a corn tortilla, “Imagine that this is my flour tortilla. Add what you’re going to use, fold it from this side, fold it from that side, and roll it. Did you see that?
And then she unrolls the burro and repeats the steps: It’s a circle. Fold it here, fold it here, and roll it. Nice! Okay, bye. I love you.”
We also like how Burrito-Folding-Lesson Mom is even helping grown-ass men.
And because imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, here’s a video made by the author for her son on his way to college in the fall.
Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is once again touting what he sees as the benefits of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. The Vermont senator first made comments praising parts of Castro’s Cuba in a 1985 interview. Now, 15 years later, Sen. Sanders is standing behind his idea that not everything is bad in Cuba in a 60 Minutes interview.
Senator Bernie Sanders is facing backlash from critics after his 60 Minutes interview because of his comments on Fidel Castro’s Cuba.
In the 1980s, Sen. Sanders was caught on camera more than once praising parts of the Castro regime in Cuba. He points to the health care and education systems as parts of the government that works for Cuban people. The comments resurfaced in 2019 and caused a backlash against the senator in the Cuban diaspora, whose pains are still fresh from the overthrow of the government.
Now, in a “60 Minutes” interview, the Vermont senator has doubled down on his comments that some of the Cuban government is good.
Anderson Cooper – “What is Democratic Socialism?”
Bernie Sanders – “When Donald Trump was a private businessman in New York, he got $800 million in tax breaks and subsidies to build luxury housing. That’s called Socialism. What Democratic Socialism is about is saying, ‘Let’s use the federal government to protect the interest of working families.’”
BS – “We’re very opposed to the authoritarian nature of Cuba. But, you know, it’s simply unfair to say that everything is bad. You know, when Fidel Castro came into office, you know what he did? He had a massive literacy program. Is that a bad thing, even though Fidel Castro did it?”
AC – “There were a lot of dissidents imprisoned in Cuba.”
BS – “That’s right and we condemn that. Unlike Donald Trump, let’s be clear. I do not think that Kim Jung Un is a good friend. I don’t trade love letters with a murdering dictator. Vladimir Putin, not a great friend of mine.”
The comments have sparked some backlash on social media from Cubans and Cuban-Americans.
Senator Marco Rubio, who is Cuban-American, has been a vocal opponent of Socialism. He has used the crisis in Venezuela to solidify his point about the dangers of the government system he believes Sen. Sanders wants to start in the U.S. Yet, Sen. Sanders’s point is not that the Castro regime is good. In the “60 Minutes” interview, the senator made it clear that he does not support the Castro regime and the brutality it caused for the Cuban people. However, he does believe there are things we can learn from the Caribbean island about offering health care and education to the population.
One point of contention with the senator’s comments is that the Cuban people didn’t fight back because of the new programs.
The Castro regime is known to have oppressed dissidents and political opponents. Speaking out against the authoritarian regime was not safe. People were jailed, killed, and exiled for standing up to Castro’s rise to power. Families fled the island and settled around the world to escape what they saw as a justifiable threat to their lives and sovereignty.
Some people are sharing personal stories of their families’ treatment under the Castro regime.
The generational trauma created by the Castro regime is still felt today. Some people used Sen. Sanders’s comments as a chance to tell a fuller story of the government some have praised for their social services.
A clip of President Barack Obama speaking on the same social issues in Cuba is also circulating.
President Obama worked tirelessly to reopen relations between the U.S. and Cuba. He was the first sitting president to visit the island when it was announced that diplomatic ties were reopened between the two countries. Part of being able to open those relations was eliminating the “wet foot, dry foot” policy that allowed Cuban nationals to stay in the U.S. after migrating. This allowed Cubans to be deported back to Cuba, something that hadn’t happened since Cubans first started to flee their homeland. In response, Cubans illegally in the U.S. have been subjected to ICE raids and detention for the first time because of President Donald Trump’s increasing escalation against the immigrant community.
There is a lot of concern from Democratic supporters that the comment could cost the party Florida in the general election if Sen. Sanders is nominated.
The Cuban and Cuban-American population in Florida is a key demographic to win the state in general elections. His comments cherry-picking what is and is not good about the Cuban government is having a resonating effect in Florida. Cuban Democrats and Republicans in the state are untied in rebuking the senator’s comments as glossing over the true victimization and terror millions faced.