Cuban-American businessman Máximo Álvarez, who came to the U.S. alone as a child under Operation Peter Pan, warned the audience at the Republican National Convention (RNC) Monday that the promises and mob violence characterizing the modern left remind him of the nation he fled.
“I’m speaking to you today because I’ve seen people like this before. 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,” Álvarez asserted, referring both to Democrat Party presidential nominee Joe Biden and to the socialist faction of the party that largely supported rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
The businessman – founder of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors in Florida – specifically cited the “defund the police” movement and calls for universal health care and other socialist policies as “echoes” of the vows Fidel Castro made before seizing power in Cuba.
“Those false promises — spread the wealth, defund the police, trust a socialist state more than your family and your community — they don’t sound radical to my ears. They sound familiar,” he continued. “When Fidel Castro was asked if he was a communist, he said he was a Roman Catholic. He knew he had to hide the truth. But the country I was born in is gone, totally destroyed.”
“When I watch the news in Seattle and Chicago and Portland, when I see history being rewritten, when I hear the promises—I hear echoes of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun,” Álvarez continued. “I heard the promises of Fidel Castro. And I can never forget all those who grew up around me, who looked like me, who suffered and starved and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallowed the communist poison pill.”
Álvarez was one of over 14,000 children whose parents sent them to America alone under “Operation Peter Pan,” in which America agreed to take the children in cases where the communist regime would not allow families to escape together. While many families later reunited after sending their children to freedom first, thousands of other children never saw their parents again.
“I know all about the past — I’ll never forget my own. My family has fled totalitarianism and communism. And more than once. First, my dad from Spain, then from Cuba,” Álvarez relayed. “But my family is done running away. By the grace of God, I have lived the American dream — the greatest blessing I’ve ever had. My dad, who only had a sixth-grade education told me, ‘don’t lose this place. You’ll never be as lucky as me.’”
“I’m speaking to you today because my family is done abandoning what we rightfully earned. There is no place to hide,” he insisted.
The businessman then praised President Donald Trump for his work in combatting leftist ideals.
“I’m speaking to you today because President Trump may not always be politically correct … our president is just another family man,” Álvarez warned. “President Trump is fighting the forces of anarchy and communism. And I know he will continue to do just that. And what about his opponent? I have no doubt they will hand the country over to those dangerous forces.”
“I choose President Trump because I choose America. I choose freedom,” he concluded.