Maximo Alvarez, founder of Sunshine Gasoline, spoke on the first night of the Republican National Convention on Aug. 24, 2020. The party planned a mix of virtual and in-person events in North Carolina and Washington, D.C., for its nominating convention after the coronavirus pandemic interrupted plans for a traditional nominating event.
Hello, my name is Maximo Alvarez. I live in Miami, Florida, not far from the state of Florida, which isn’t just a 90 mile wide blue strip on a map for me. It divides freedom from fear, it divides the past from the future. I know all about the past. I’ll never forget my own. My family has fled totalitarianism and communism more than once. First, my dad from Spain and then from Cuba, but my family’s don’t run away. By the grace of God, I live the American dream, the greatest blessing I ever had. My dad only had a sixth grade education told me, “Don’t lose this place. You will never be as lucky as me.”
I’m speaking to you today because my family’s done abandoning what we rightfully earned. There’s no place to hide. I’m speaking to you today because President Trump may not always be politically correct. He is, in fact, a successful businessman, not your average career politician. Our president is just another family man, a friend, and most important, our elected commander in chief who puts America first. Keep in mind, the other guy running for president is mostly concerned about power. Yes, yes. Power for them, but not for the benefit of all Americans.
I’m speaking to you today because I have seen people like this before. I’ve seen movements like this before. I’ve seen a BS like this before, and I am here to tell you, we cannot let them take over our country. I heard the promises of Fidel Castro and I can never forget all those who grew up around me who look like me, who suffer and starved and died because they believed those empty promises. They swallow the communist poison pill. If you have a chance, go the Freedom Tower in Miami, stop and listen. You can still hear the sounds of those broken promises. It is the sound of waves in the ocean carrying families clinging to pieces of wood, families with children who can’t swim, but willing to risk everything to reach this blessed land. It is the sound of tears hitting the paper of an application to become an American citizen.
Most heard and liked the promises, but soon after they experienced the reality. Look at them, listen to them, learn the truth. Those false promises spread the wealth. Free education, free healthcare, defund the police, trust a socially state more than your family and your community. They don’t sound radical to my ears. They sound familiar. 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, Chicago, Portland, and other cities, when I see the history being rewritten, when I hear the promises, I hear echos of a former life I never wanted to hear again. I see shadows I thought I had outrun.
My parents only wanted one person to decide my fate. Me. Not some party member, not some government official, not some bureaucrat. In America, I would decide my own future. I am so grateful to America, the place where I was able to build my American dream through hard work and determination. President Trump knows that the American story was written by people just like you and I who love our country and take risks to build a future for our families and neighbors. I may be a Cuba born, but I am 100% American. This is the greatest country in the world.
I said this before, 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. The gift of freedom. Right now, it is up to us to decide our fate and to choose freedom over oppression. President Trump, he’s fighting the forces of anarchy and communism, and I know he will continue to do just that. What about his opponent and the rest of the DC swamp? I have no doubt that we’ll hand the country over to those dangerous forces. You and I will decide, and here’s what I’ve decided. My decision is very easy. I choose President Trump because I choose America. I choose freedom. I still hear my dad. There is no other place to go. Thank you, and may the good Lord bless America.