Cuban American Maximo Alvarez came to the U.S. as a child refugee, sent by his parents who did not want him to be indoctrinated by the communist Castro dictatorship. He is CEO of Sunshine Gasoline Distributors and knows it was hard work and freedom that gave him the opportunity to achieve his dreams and become a successful businessman.
Maximo Alvarez is forever grateful for the opportunities America gave him, but he is also fearful of what he is seeing now with the rise of communist ideas in the protests across the nation. He has seen this before.
A full transcript of his remarks (via the Daily Wire) are available below the fold.
Look at the people in this table. Look at our backgrounds. Just think that in 1961, as a 13-year-old, by myself, on my way to Spain. I wasn’t even coming here. I arrived in this great country and almost 60 years later, I’m sitting next to the President of the United States talking about the American dream. The only country in the world, no other country in the world that you can start a business from the trunk of your car and within a very few years with hard work, commitment, and all the core values that we learn from this very culture of ours, we can become very important to our future. We can become those people who make the next generation better than the one before. This is the only country. Why do you think you had to close the borders?
Because everybody in the world wants to come over here. Nobody’s ever forced to come over here. We come over here, in my case because my parents chose that I would not be indoctrinated by the communist country, by the totalitarian country, by the totalitarian regime. They don’t educate children. Absolutely not. And this is something that we need to understand. What is happening in our backyard today, I experienced as an 11-year-old. I remember vividly all the promises that a guy named Castro gave, and how 99% of the people swallowed the pill.
It took many years later, after I read somebody named Saul Alinsky, that I realized that all those people were nothing but useful idiots. I remember Castro while in the mountains being interviewed and asked if he was a communist. He went crazy. “‘I dare you,’ he says,” [foreign language 00:00:31:12]” [a] Roman Catholic. Educated by the Jesuits, he was. “How dare you! We even have a priest in the mountains.” We used to have priests in the mountains. I remember, I was in Marist Brothers, Christopher Columbus here for those who don’t. And I remember the Brothers, the Marist Brothers used to send young kids to the mountains because it was the second coming of our Lord. He was going to save Cuba. I remember how he promised to the farmers, to the [foreign language 00:31:48] that you’re going to own the land. I remember all the promises that we hear today about free education and free health care and free land.
My God, no freedom. But he never said that until after he was in power, got rid of all the police, got rid of all the military – been there for the last 60 years and counting. And he destroyed each and every one who helped him. The Catholic church, everybody. And why do I know that? Because I happened to come to this country with a very last nine cloister nuns from Convent Santa Clara, because he had taken over the convent. And I was on my way to Spain, I wasn’t even coming here, because I was going to join my brother, who my parents had already sent a few months before because he was in the age where the government will take him for indoctrination purposes.
My dad, who had experienced the same thing coming from Spain at the turn of the century, running away, not from socialism, communism. He knew better. I remember when he used to tell my mom, “Fefa, this SOB’s a communist.” My mother says, “Luca, how can you say that? He’s Catholic. Look, he’s [wearing] …” He had rosary beads all over his neck. It just so happened that when I was on my way to Spain to meet my brother, I was going to go to the Marist Brothers in La Coruna, Spain. Same brothers here at Christopher Columbus, by the way. My brother died, and I was kept in this country. Greatest blessing I ever had. But imagine what happened to mom and dad.
One day, you lose both kids. This is a family who had never been involved in politics. My father came at age 18 from Spain, running from communists. By himself, never went back. After a long, long life of sacrifice, when he was about to enjoy the fruit of his labors just like a president that is helping us today, because he could have been just having a good time, one of his many beautiful golf courses. But no. But yet he gave up enjoying the fruit of his labors to do this. So did my dad, that’s why I love you. Exactly the same. So when they’re about to do that from one day to the next, they end up in this country with the shirt that he was wearing on his back. And they did maximum, have been here already for years. But thank God for Pedro Pan.
Talking about socialism, Catholic church, 14,000 kids who came like me in this country without parents. And we were provided an opportunity. This is what makes our country great. They didn’t give me free nothing, they gave me the opportunity. That is the most valuable thing in the world. Now, when I said they didn’t give me any free something, please understand that at 13 years old, I had to be provided with a home, had to be provided with food, and an education. That is socialism, that’s Americanism, that’s the America that these people are trying to destroy today by using funny terms like socialism. They’re not, they’re communists. Don’t ever forget that. I know our president understands that because he knows, he’s been all over the world. And you’re surrounded with great people, very loyal people, and we have our back.
I remember the first time I gave little speech about something like this, tell him about I came from Cuba, blah, blah, blah. I remember this was around October 2016. I thought you were a little crazy for the sacrifice you were about to take, but I predicted that we were going to elect you in November, and I was going to see you in the White House in January. Thank you very much. Because of the situations right now, I cannot give you hug. Otherwise, thank you very much. And I going to leave you with one last thing. Never forget about my dad who only had a sixth grade education, but I think he was the greatest philosopher I ever met. He used to tell us how lucky he was because he was able to come from Spain to Cuba. And then he came from Cuba to United States. And he saw me graduate from college, and that was the biggest prize he ever had. And he said, “Don’t lose this place because you’re never going to be as lucky as me. Because if you lose this place, you have no place to go.”
So with that, please keep that in mind. And please, people, explain that to our young people who are demonstrating out there. Don’t be useful idiots. Please understand what’s happening in our country. See what happens to our parents and see what is happening to America today. Mr. President, thank you very much. And thank you for your hard work.