Victims of Communism Day: Stop glorifying communism

A guest post by our good friend Mailyn Salabarria (Cubanita in Colorado)

Stop glorifying communism: it has killed nearly 100 million people all over the world.

My social media timelines will be flooded with testimonies and information about the horrors that communism has caused to my homeland and all over the world. And I will not apologize for it.

I was born in communist Cuba — raised there while Fidel Castro was still alive — and made in the US. Yes, I am American by choice since that day, 22 years ago, when I escaped the Caribbean Animal Farm and started my life from scratch, with two suitcases and $200 in my pocket. That is roughly the same time it has taken me to read and learn about the destruction, pain, and human toll of communism. Even grueling testimonies within my own family.

Being the proverbial child of the state, brainwashed in Castro’s tropical gulag, I grew up thinking that collectivism and central planning was the equivalent of the Eighth Wonder of the World. That the tenants of Marxism, class struggle, dialectic materialism and the erasure of objective truth and natural rights was the way to go.

Little did I know back then that was far from the truth!

Fast-forward time, knowledge, and technology to 2023: the nonprofit Free Society Project, also known as the Cuban Archive Project (Archivo Cuba, in Spanish) still does not have a final count of the deaths caused by communism in Cuba since Fidel Castro took over in 1959.

You have been lied about what life under communism really is by a propaganda machine that has captured minds of all ages in the United States (and all over the world) for more than six decades. 

That black beret and your Che Guevara t-shirt next to the “equity” slogan and new flag of the day? Hah! Good luck with that back when Guevara was the sole arbiter of the judicial system of the new revolutionary government … you would have been one of the first ones lined up by the Butcher of La Cabaña for the firing squad, without a fair trial. (Cue the latest SNL sketch about American college students and Hamas terrorists here, because it is the same predicament, but in English and with Wi-Fi.)

Ladies and Gentlemen, I am here to burst that bubble and call my fellow Americans of all ages — on Election Day no less — to reject that lie and to NOT take the freedom we have for granted.

The life we have today in America is not perfect by any means, but it would have been impossible for me to accomplish anything living under the communist tyranny still in power in Cuba. I am here to ask you to reflect about the traffic pattern of the homemade rafts in the Florida Straits: When was the last time you saw countless Americans or Europeans risking their lives in the ocean to seek refuge in the wonderful communist paradise in Cuba? It brings the whole idea of the American experiment into a new light, doesn’t it?

I am here to encourage you, next time you are at the grocery store, to look at the yogurt or bread isle and see all the choices you have to pick from. I promise, it will bring your notion of freedom to choose to a whole different level.

I am here to implore you to pay attention to what is happening in our schools today. It feels unreal to me when I see the ideologies and agendas permeating what should be the best academic education in the world. They are not that different from the government promoted brainwashing I went through during all my educational journey in Cuba.

The daily examples I encounter almost daily at my job are just too many to list in this limited space.

Younger generations are being indoctrinated to think that an utterly failed centralized economy and a government that controls the food supply, the media, that confiscated firearms and revoked a constitution modeled after our US Constitution and actively engages in policing thought and speech are the real definition of equity and a prosperous path for human beings. They are not. The bloodbath against dissenting minds, the poverty and the misery under communism is deliberate and intentional.

When you are being killed or imprisoned for using your God-given gifts and natural rights and your stomach is grumbling, your mind cannot think about individual freedoms, free markets, the proper role of the government, or let alone true equality under the law.

It’s time to read “Animal Farm”, a timeless story by George Orwell that illustrates this tragedy so well.

Human nature will never change. Human nature will always yearn for freedom and reject coercion. Human nature will never NOT seek freedom over force. 

Today I ask you to see my life’s experience under communism as an equalizer to compare — and appreciate — the freedoms we still have as Americans. To pause for a second to remember and honor those who have paid with their lives in this fight against communism.

And also to remain vigilant: the use of force to take away your individual freedom and civil rights does not always show up in green fatigues and carrying an AK-47. Tyranny and the evil of communism is showing up and will continue to show up under many disguises.

It is up to us and our commitment to the legacy we want to leave to our children to stop it in its tracks.

Never. Again. Prohibido Olvidar.

PS – Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation has a series of seminars that will help you to better understand the truth about the evils of communism. Parents Defending Education has compiled a list of curriculums that teach a balanced and nonpolitical view on social studies.

Mailyn Salabarria was born in Cuba and escaped in 2001. She is the Director of Community Engagement for Parents Defending Education and a Speaker for The Dissident Project. Mailyn has a Law Degree from Havana University School of Law and an MS in Mass Communication and Journalism from Florida International University. She lives in Colorado and it’s the mother of two children, made in the USA with Cuban parts. You can follow her on X @cbntaRMNP

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