Photo set: Local Cubans rally to support business upset with protesters demands

On Sunday, more than 30 members of Louisville’s Cuban community held a NuLu rally in support of Fernando Martinez, a local restaurant group owner embroiled in a conflict with Black Lives Matter supporters. 

Last Wednesday in a Facebook post, Martinez denounced “mafia”-like tactics from Black Lives Matter Louisville organizers, who issued a list of demands to NuLu businesses. The demands asked, among other things, for businesses to hire staff to reflect the city’s Black population and for retail shops to buy at least 23% products from Black people or make monthly donations of 1.5% of net sales to an area Black nonprofit or organization.

At the rally, Cuban American supporters gathered on the steps of Martinez’s NuLu business, La Bodequita de Mima, holding signs decrying socialism, and Martinez gave an impassioned speech about his support for diversity and distaste for Marxism, which he has accused Black Lives Matter of promoting.

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“La Bodeguita is open to everybody,” said Martinez. “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 are human, this is your home.”

Here are photos by LEO photographer Kathryn Harrington of the protest.

Many supporting La Bodeguita De Mima held signs denouncing socialism as they rallied on the steps of the NuLu restaurant.
The signs created for the rally on Sunday came in response to a list of demands for NuLu businesses by activists to address the gentrification in the area and lack of Black representation at businesses.
Some at the rally noted that Cubans came to the United States to escape socialism as practiced in Cuba.
A crowd gathered on the steps and sidewalk in front of La Bodeguita De Mima on Sunday.
Fernando Martinez, a partner of the restaurant group behind La Bodeguita de Mima, spoke to the crowd on Sunday.
Fernando Martinez, a partner of the restaurant group behind La Bodeguita de Mima, had denounced the list of activists’ demands as “mafia”-like tactics.
The supports rallied in response to demands made on businesses in NuLu by activists who said the area had been gentrified at the expense of Black people.
President of the Cuban American Association of Kentucky Berta Weyenberg and General of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Kentucky Ahamara Brewster embraced as Brewster spoke to the crowd at the rally on Sunday.
The crowd of about 30 on the steps of La Bodeguita De Mima on Sunday spilled on to the sidewalk.
Speakers addressed the ralliers from the steps of the La Bodeguita De Mima on Sunday.
There was no sign of an organized couterprotest at the rally.
President of the Cuban American Association of Kentucky Berta Weyenberg and General of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Kentucky Ahamara Brewster shook hands at the rally on Sunday.
General of the Revolutionary Black Panther Party of Kentucky Ahamara Brewster spoke to reporters after the rally on Sunday.
Luis David Fuentes with El Kentubano spoke to the crowd on Sunday outside of La Bodeguita de Mima.

 

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