Freedom must not be oppressed or shut down because of differences in opinions or beliefs.
As a U.S. citizen born in South America, I was brought up to love and honor God. I was raised to value and not take for granted my God-given freedom. As an immigrant, I treasure and am greatly privileged to experience that freedom each day in my adopted country.
It’s because of my love for this freedom that the praising of socialism by some American politicians distresses me.
I grew up in beautiful Ecuador, where as a child I learned about the importance of service to bring positive change to the community and people’s lives, as well as the value of hard work as a path to freedom and success. When I moved to the U.S. as an adult, I came here legally, respecting the rule of law and order. I came to be part of this country, not to change America into my birth home in South America. If that were not the case, I would have stayed in my birth country! This is my home country now, and I am proud of it. I saw it as my responsibility to learn English to respect and honor the country I chose to adopt, even though I still speak with a heavy accent. My loyalty is now to the U.S., even though I will always love the land of my birth.
In Ecuador, we were blessed by many years of stability and many freedoms. Tragically, many nearby countries have been devastated by socialist regimes and policies. My friends in places like Venezuela and Cuba have suffered terribly from these misguided, destructive ideologies. As a Christian, I am especially heartbroken by their stories of religious oppression and government targeting of churches and religious groups.
Venezuela is facing an economic and humanitarian crisis after years of socialist rule, during which the government appropriated land and nationalized private and foreign-owned businesses. There is extreme inflation, and severe food and medicine shortages.
Cuba has rampant corruption, and people cannot work or live freely. The free medical care is mostly very poor quality. Almost everyone is a government worker with no chance to improve their lives with hard work. It is a tragic façade.
I can say with certainty, and firmly grounded in the love that I have for all people and for my adopted country, that socialism has evil at its heart. It is an evil that pretends to be the savior of people when it leads instead to destruction.
Socialist governments steal property from their own citizens. Socialist leaders are dictators who control their people through military control. Socialism leads to totalitarianism.
This is the truth that I have learned as an immigrant from South America, and that as a U.S. citizen I want my fellow citizens to know.
I want to make these points because I read how Lisa Brown, a candidate for Congress in this area, once supported the communist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua. Today those Sandinistas are brutally repressing the Nicaraguan people. Recently Lisa Brown said she admired a leader of the American Communist Party. She was even impressed by Cuba’s medical care. Her beliefs and ideology are naïve, but they are also dangerous.
Lisa Brown took only short visits to Nicaragua and Cuba. This can give only a glimpse of reality. Tourists are not allowed to enter the areas where they can see the real impact of these political ideologies, the poverty, and struggles.
I am shocked that some American politicians here in the United States are saying that socialism is good for us, and many, especially our youth, have been blinded to the truth.
Socialism takes away our rights, our freedom to be what we choose, and what God created us to be.
We have the God-given freedom and power to “be the change” we want to see in our country. Let’s use that freedom to do good, to help ourselves and our fellow citizens by protecting and defending our freedoms – the same freedoms that socialism would take away.
We must learn our country’s great history, how our foundation rests “In God We Trust,” our heritage as “One Nation Under God.”
Doris Campoverde moved to Spokane in 2012 and became a U.S. citizen in 2015.
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