Local Cuban business owner speaks on Castro's death


HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Leo Dopico was born and raised in Cuba and became a well-known successful lawyer.

However, conflict came when the Cuban government accused him of being sympathetic to the United States.

Dopico said "it's an offense even worse than being a criminal. They confiscate my house with all my belongings there, and I had no choice before that to leave the country."

Dopico moved to Hattiesburg in 2009 and became a salesman.

His family joined him in 2013 and all became American citizens.

"We have been very successful because I really believe that America is a land full of opportunities. The land where all the dreams can come true. And the limit in America is heaven," said Dopico.

Dopico turned his dream into a reality and opened a Cuban restaurant in Hattiesburg called "Leo's Cuban Kitchen."

Business has been so successful for him and his family that he's planning to open another restaurant, either on the coast or in Jackson.

"If you keep going, you will have tough time. But, you will achieve what you want if you continue fighting," said Dopico.

Dopico believes the Cuban government is falsely portraying that Cubans are honoring Fidel Castro's death.

When in reality, the people are divided and various people never liked his regime.

"I believe it's a great step in the right direction. That will not figure out the solution of Cuba. There will not be any major political change that allow Cuba to be free. Until the brother pass, nothing will be achieved from Cuba," said Dopico.

Dopico said he's enjoyed his time here in the United States and is proud to be an American citizen.

He wants people to not take for granted that America is a free country no matter what problems it might have.

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