Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY), chair of the House Republican Conference, took the stage on the first day of the 2020 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Thursday and sent a pointed message to socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) by highlighting the story of a Cuban immigrant who, inspired by Ronald Reagan’s speeches, escaped Fidel Castro’s oppressive regime.
Cheney told the CPAC crowd that enemies of the United States have one thing in common: “They want to extinguish our freedom. They want to defeat freedom.”
“America will never be defeated by their totalitarian hatred,” she declared, railing against socialism, which “steals power from the people.”
Cheney lamented the rise of socialism in the Democrat Party and, particularly, among the party’s presidential candidates:
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“Imagine that we’re in a situation where the leading Democrat candidate for president spouts communist propaganda and then tells us ‘truth is truth.’ Well today I have some truth for Bernie Sanders,” Cheney said, telling the story of a man who grew up in a shack in Castro’s communist Cuba — a shack “with a dirt floor, no running water, no refrigerator, [and] a hole in the ground that he shared with six other families as their bathroom.”
“This man lived the soul-killing truth of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. When he was 20, he knew he had to leave. He escaped Cuba, he got on a boat, crossed shark-infested waters and came to America. Today this man is here with us,” she said as the audience clapped for the man, named Enrique.
Cheney said she asked the man how he knew to come to America, the land of freedom, while living under such oppression.
“I asked Enrique recently, ‘Enrique, when you were 20 years old in 1994 in Cuba, how did you know to come to America? How did you know? You didn’t have internet. You didn’t have free access to press. How did you know to come here?’” she asked.
He credited his fundamental knowledge of American freedom to the speeches of Ronald Reagan.
“Enrique told me that he and his family listened to the speeches on radio,” she said, explaining that they put small towels over their heads to prevent the neighbors from hearing and reporting them:
He heard Ronald Reagan talking about freedom. He knew he had to come to America. That is our charge today. That is our charge as Americans. We are the inheritors of that legacy. We are the inheritors of the great promise of freedom, and I’m so thrilled that we are in this fight.
The Republican lawmaker concluded with a promise that we will “defeat those who advocate socialism and we will ensure that our children and grandchildren live in the freedom that we do today.”