Young Americans Against Socialism is a nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to exposing the failures of Socialism to young Americans by creating viral educational videos for social media, like this one with Ray, who tells his story about fleeing Cuba by windsurfing for 10 hours before being caught by the US Coast Guard, just off the coast of Florida.
He says, “Socialism ruins people’s lives. I can’t believe there are Americans that want that for us. Here’s the thing: Socialism looks beautiful in a book – and it might even seem good for the first year or so, while you start implementing it, but then things start rotting…
“We hit rock bottom. There was almost nothing to go buy in Cuba. We were having 16 hours of blackout every day. So with no electricity, you don’t have a fan, just to cool off. I mean, think about the summer in Cuba! No propane to cook with, no food. An island surrounded by sea, not even table salt!
“This is one memory that sticks with me the most – the only thing we had to eat for months was potatoes. Just plain potatoes – but there was nothing to cook with – there was nothing to boil that potato with. These memories scored my brain: my mom breaking down furniture to make fire. We were destroying our own furniture to boil potatoes!
“In Cuba, eating a lobster is illegal. You go diving, you grab one lobster, you can get six years in jail! And it gets worse: If you sell it, you’re a trafficker, now! If you cook it and put it an underground restaurant, it’s even worse. But the government gets them by the boat – by the ton.
“All the policemen in Cuba were living way better than us. All the government, don’t even mention it. Way better. The elite – they live in a bubble. That’s Socialism for you.
“My family is made up of mechanical engineers, social engineers, lawyers and stuff – and we were living through that! Does that tell you something? It’s not your fault, as a family. You did the best for yourself. You educated yourself and you’re burning your own furniture!
“Trying to understand Cuba is like trying to understand Alice in Wonderland. You could not understand Wonderland, because nothing made sense!
“One day, I’d had enough. I got my windsurfing equipment, went to a very isolated side of the city, with a straight shot to the ocean, away from the bay and I took off. And I remember reaching the conclusion – and this is the messed-up part. If you want Socialism, you should wonder about this: Wonder why I reached the conclusion that dying there would be even better than to ever be back [in Cuba]; why I reached the conclusion that I would take the decision to put my head under the water and take three deep breaths of water and would die by drowning with a big smile on my face – because, I knew I was free. This is the first time in my life I [would be] free…
“I got picked up by the Coast Guard boat. They get sent me back to Cuba and I got my paperwork from the US Embassy…and it took me three years of processing the case, exchanging mail, going to the capital, Havana and submitting my paperwork.
“In September 2007, I came to the US as a political refugee. Keep in mind, this is my first flight, ever. I’d never been on a plane before – and here I am…!
“So, that very first day in 2007, after landing in New York, my friends took me to this restaurant – and you have to keep in mind – beef is also illegal in Cuba! An edible item – illegal! And I’m sitting there and I have in front of me this – maybe a pound and a half cheeseburger with a humongous side of fries and I can’t avoid – it’s a mixed feeling, because I’m feeling grateful that I’m here, able to eat a piece of meat and at the same time, I feel guilt, because people are going to prison for that! My family can’t even eat that! And I’m sitting there, sending away half of the plate because I can’t finish it…
“Bernie Sanders, this freaking guy was friends with Castro and he’s talking beautiful things about the Cuban system. I was there…why did Bernie Sanders fail to tell you that in Cuba, you can go to prison for eating something!
“I don’t like hand-outs, so I always wanted to be a part of the Service and I went to the Army. I enlisted in 2010 and I got the opportunity to serve a year in Afghanistan. I owe my life and my kids’ lives and the future that they can have to this nation and that’s why I went into the service; to feel and to be able to tell anybody that…I earned it. Nobody gave me anything. I earned it.
“I earned my right to vote, I earned my right to speak – and I earned my right to tell you right now why Socialism sucks!”