Cuban refugee: Americans have digested 'poison pill of communism'

Cuban immigrant Maximo Alvarez speaks to the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020 (video screenshot)

Former Cuban refugee Maximo Alvarez warned in a speech at the Republican National Convention last summer that many Americans have swallowed the “poison pill” of communism, but now he says they’ve “digested” it.

In an interview Wednesday with Lisa Boothe, he recalled witnessing during his childhood dictator Fidel Castro’s elimination of human rights, the Daily Wire reported.

Fidel Castro (Photo: Twitter)

Alvarez fled to the United States in 1961 under Operation Peter Pan.

Boothe, referring to Alvarez’s RNC speech, asked him if he believes Americans have “swallowed the communist poison pill.”

“Not only have they swallowed it, they digested it,” Alvarez replied. “Listen to the media. They’re no longer objective. You can tell how much they hate this country.

“Look at our, our academia!” he said. “Our kids are not being … they’re indoctrinated! They are taught that America is a bad country. That we’re a bunch of racists, that we’re bad people, and we have to pay back.”

Alvarez said that if “this country was racist, I wouldn’t be here.”

“If this country was a racist country, most of us wouldn’t be here because even some people in your family came from another country,” he said.

‘A conformity that feels terrifyingly familiar today’

Many other emigres from communist nations also are speaking out, warning they are seeing in the United States some of the same developments that eventually caused them to flee their homelands.

President Ronald Reagan meeting with Natan Sharansky Dec. 10, 1986, after the dissident was released from the Soviet Union (White House photo)

Among them is the famous Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky, who wrote an essay published in February titled “The Doublethinkers.”

He said that in “assessing my own liberation, I recall a conformity that feels terrifyingly familiar today.”

If anyone should doubt his warnings, he said, they should take what he calls the Town Square Test. It’s a method of distinguishing between “free societies and fear societies.”

“Can you express your individual views loudly, in public, without fear of being punished legally, formally, in any way?” he asked. “If yes, you live in a free society; if not, you’re in a fear society.”

He explained how people in “fear societies” such as the old Soviet Union become doublethinkers, people who keep their true thoughts private while mouthing things they don’t believe in public.

“As the Party Line you follow publicly becomes increasingly disconnected from what you believe or see or experience privately, your cynicism grows along with your mental agility — your skill in living and writing in two contradictory scripts at once,” he wrote. “That’s how you become a doublethinker.”

Author and columnist Rod Dreher was inspired to write his book “Live Not By Lies” when he began to hear warnings from people who had fled to America from communist countries.

One emigre told him of noticing a shift in the United States a decade ago when people would lower their voices and look over their shoulders before expressing conservative views.

“I grew up like this, but it was not supposed to be happening here,” he said.

Dreher posed a question to a number of emigres from communist nations: “Is America drifting toward some sort of totalitarianism?”

They all said yes, “often emphatically.” Dreher writes in his book. “They were usually surprised by my question because they consider Americans to be hopelessly naive on the subject.”

Most Americans are blinded to what is happening, Dreher said, because they don’t see secret police and gulags

In summary, he sees the following signs of a “soft totalitarianism”:

  • Elites and elite institutions abandoning old fashioned liberalism
  • Replacing it with a progressive creed and utopian vision
  • Good and evil is a matter of power dynamics among ethnic, sexual identity groups
  • History rewritten and language reinvented to reflect the progressive definition of social justice
  • The consequence of not conforming is the loss of livelihood and reputation

‘I’ve seen people like this before’

Alvarez address the RNC last August in the wake of Bernie Sanders’ declaration that his “revolution” has mainstreamed policies once thought extreme in the Democratic Party.

“I’m speaking to you today because I’ve seen people like this before,” Alvarez said.

“I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen ideas like this before, and I’m here to tell you, we cannot let them take over our country.”

Alvarez, the president of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors, recalled fleeing Castro’s regime in 1961 at the age of 13.

“I’ve heard the promises of Fidel Castro, and I cannot forget those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered, and starved, and died because they believed those empty promises,” he said.

“They swallowed the communist poison pill.”

Alvarez said that by the “grace of God, I lived the American dream, the greatest blessing I ever had.”

“My dad, who only had a 6th grade education told me, ‘Don’t leave this place. You will never be as lucky as me. … There is no place to hide.'”

Sanders, as WND reported, touted the success of his far-left “revolutionary” movement in his speech on opening night of the Democratic National Convention.

“Our campaign ended several months ago, but our movement continues and is getting stronger every day,” said Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist.

“Many of the ideas we fought for, that just a few years ago were considered ‘radical,’ are now mainstream.”

Alvarez said the Democrats’ proposals “don’t sound radical to my ears.”

“They sound familiar.”

He noted that Castro was asked at the beginning of his revolution if he was a communist, and he replied that he was a Roman Catholic.

“He knew he had to hide the truth,” Alvarez said. “But the country I was born in is gone. Totally destroyed.”

Alvarez said that he may be Cuban-born, but he is “100% American.”

“This is the greatest country in the world,” he said, his voice beginning to break. ” … If I gave away everything that I have today, it would not equal 1% of what I was given when I came to this great country of ours.”

America has a choice now, he said, pointing to the “echoes of his past” that he sees in Seattle, Chicago, Portland and other cities.

“I choose President Trump, because I choose America, I choose freedom,” he said.

He concluded by recalling the words of his father.

“I still hear my dad,” he said, pausing to collect himself as tears welled. “There is no other place to go.”

See the speech:

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This article was originally published by the WND News Center.

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