From Nicaragua to Now: One Family’s Sacrifices for Freedom

Less than 12 hours after the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) on ObamaCare, my Facebook wall took a drastic turn. My wall is normally covered with images of Jesus, our Blessed Mother, saints, or my own little saints in the making, but I made the mistake that day of checking my newsfeed. I nearly hurled my lunch when I saw, “Yay, Obamacare passed, this is the happiest day of my life!” from one of my cousins. For once in my life, I felt like smashing the computer.

Instead, I turned to prayer. “Lord, what is happening? Why would my family of refugees from a socialized nation be happy about this?” Then I saw an image of my father in his military uniform. And a wound that has never fully healed, the death of my father, was being opened again by my own relatives. Reality hit like a ton of bricks…a hundred images flashed before me from the fall of 1979, including the last time I kissed my Papi goodbye. Then I saw another status with a similar message and my eyes went blurry.

My father when he graduated from the military academy in Nicaragua.

My father’s family being happy about the SCOTUS decision was surreal for me and I didn’t understand it. I walked away from my computer and sat looking at my beautiful open backyard. Freedom. Living in the mountains gives me a sense of both protection and freedom, but it wasn’t helping me forget what I was feeling. Worse, the mountains even further reminded me of my Papi, who fought in the mountains of Nicaragua against the Sandinistas for many years. One of the highest ranked commanders in Somoza’s army, my father fought for my freedom while we missed him at home. Military families understand the sacrifice of seeing your loved one go off to war.

I am an unhyphenated American who was born in Nicaragua when it was free of socialism/Communism. My dad was assassinated and left to rot in an abandoned house under the Sandinistas. My mother, at the ripe age of 25, had to fly to another Central American country to identify his remains.

Life without my father was hell for my mother, my sisters, and myself. We left Nicaragua with a suitcase, all of us thinking it was a temporary departure, not a permanent one. We left behind our home and business, both of which my parents had worked so hard for. Eventually, the government managed to carry out its socialist principles to their logical conclusion: it took ownership of all our property and redistributed it. Our home was confiscated and up until a few years ago, was used as the consulate for an African country.

After burying my father, my mother returned to the United States and we lived in fear, hiding for almost two years. Would they come after us, too? We never knew.

These are the kinds of houses I saw around Managua about 20 years ago when I went back for a short visit. My heart sank at the thought that people lived in houses made of cardboard.

And guess what? Things haven’t changed; even after an “open election,” Ortega is back in power! So how is it that my Nicaraguan family members, along with our Cuban and Venezuelan friends, have forgotten why we live in the United States? Should they go live in their native land for a year to be cured of their ignorance?

Before entering the air-conditioned house again, I took a deep breath and prayed my favorite prayer, the Anima Cristi, written by Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who was a soldier like my father. Repeating, “Passion of Christ, strengthen me!” under my breath, I sat back down at the computer and prayed, “Lord guide me!” as I typed a response.


If it walks like a duck, acts like a duck, and smells like a duck – it’s a duck! For all my Cuban and Nicaraguan family and friends who still think that we aren’t headed towards socialism, yesterday {Thursday, June 28th} was the day that proved we ARE heading down that road (though actually, it happened the day you voted for Obama). You and I ran away from this kind of government, yet you still are happy with it? WAKE UP and smell the socialism! It’s here! Open the history books and read how it got into our birth countries! Educate yourselves, please, for the love of God, before November! My father–your uncle, in many cases–didn’t die fighting socialism and Communism in Nicaragua for us to accept this.

After that, I was sure I’d started World War III with my family. But three days later, not one of my family members or friends who support Obama had responded. Several decided it would just be easier to unfriend me.

Despite my disappointment with family and friends, the experience made me think long and hard about what the SCOTUS decision means for our country. The decision was to be expected, because judges can’t rewrite laws just to make them Constitutional. Normally, the justices would have struck down the law and instructed Congress to rewrite it. No one knows why Justice Roberts elected to uphold the law, but it’s generally accepted that it wasn’t because he buckled to liberal pressure or was stared down by President Obama. Political experts instead believe that Roberts realized the historical consequences of a ruling that would strike down the landmark healthcare law. With no precedent for the Court to fall back on, it was difficult to say the individual mandate crossed a Constitutional line.

Many commentators have concluded that Roberts’ decision gave Romney the winning ticket since he can now say the Democrats gave us an unconstitutional tax. Some say Congress will be forced to repeal the law due to the public’s complaints–and Roberts knew this. The bottom line is, this SCOTUS ruling upheld an unconstitutional tax and this case will serve as a precedent for allowing other laws that are unconstitutional. Now, Congress knows it can tax behavior and get away with it.

Nicaragua Poverty
The poor in Nicaragua are now poorer, after 33 years under Communism/socialism.

Judge Roberts (a Catholic) gave the federal government the power to tax us for anything, even if the tax it decides to impose doesn’t fit into any tax category the Constitution says Congress can levy. Yes, we have a chance to elect better leaders in November, but now every generation will have to fight against one tax or the next, whatever behavior (or even inactivity) that the government decides we need to be taxed on.

George Washington once said, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquent, it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.” How ironic that we just celebrated our country’s independence from tyranny yesterday, when in fact today our government is more oppressive than England ever was, with more citizens depending on that government than ever before. With 236 years of freedom behind us, that freedom ought not to be negotiable.

In many areas of life, we submit to individuals not for their own good qualities, but out of respect for their office, for the authority they represent. But for that authority to be legitimate, the leader himself must submit to God and the objective Truth that He has given us. Only the leader who has, in humility, accepted obedience to a higher authority himself has the right to demand obedience of those he leads. President Obama, in pushing a socialist program onto our nation despite its overwhelming rejection by the people, has failed in this task.

A friend of mine, Brian, said it best:“Obama does not understand the model of American freedom or its Christian foundations. ObamaCare has foisted upon us the greatest human injustice imaginable: allegiance to an ideology, not founded in human freedom or love of liberty, but through radicalism by the force of the state.”

But there is some hope, according to Catholic League president Bill Donahue. “While the Supreme Court decision lacks clarity, the Catholic response will be anything but ambiguous: the battle lines between the bishops and the Obama administration are now clearer than ever,” Donahue said. “Fortunately, not only do practicing Catholics overwhelmingly support the bishops, but tens of millions of non-Catholics do, too. ObamaCare may have survived, but it is by no means a given that the HHS mandate will. It is one thing to levy a tax, quite another to level the First Amendment.”

So where do we go from here? We’ve seen the fruits of Obama’s labor and his unwillingness to submit to God. We know we need to get this man out of office in November. To do that, we need most of all to pray for this country, for God to put His hand once again on it and bring it back to Him as He did with our forefathers.

Are you registered and ready to vote?  Let your voice be heard, come November. I for one won’t allow the death of my father, who fought and died for my family to be free of government control, to be in vain. I will be voting to honor his death by upholding freedom over tyranny, so that my own children won’t suffer at the hands of their government as we did in Nicaragua.


Quod Apostolici Muneris (On Socialism) vy Pope Leo XIII
7 Ways Socialism Harms America
 by Gustavo Solimeo (TFP Student Action)
Catholics and Socialism
 by Stephanie Blog (CatholicCulture)
12 Hard-Hitting Facts About Socialist Ideologies by Gustavo Solimeo (TFP Student Action)
Why the Catholic Church Cannot Accept Socialism by George M. Searle, CSP
Socialism Creeps in as America Sleeps
10 Reasons to Reject Socialism by TFP Student Action
What the Popes Say about Socialism by Gustavo Solimeo (TFP)


Priest issues strong invocation against socialism

27 Replies to “From Nicaragua to Now: One Family’s Sacrifices for Freedom”

  1. Alessandra, thank you for a well-reasoned, and still emotional, argument against Obamacare. We in the United States need so many more who are willing to put the ideas together and see the real results that will occur as out country moves more toward the opposite of freedom. I am so sorry for your loss of your father. He did die in a noble cause, and you have every right to be proud of what he did.

  2. Well said. Thank you for writing this. I’m sure it must have been very difficult. I applaud you for honesty.

  3. Thank you for stating so clearly the problems our country is facing. And thank you for sharing your story. As your family has proven, many people often forget their roots and fall into the same traps down the line. Keep praying for them that they will see the error of their ways one day.

  4. Indeed, as a Brazilian, a country that has flirted with Socialism far too close that ended up electing Socialist presidents in the last decade, I too am baffled at the typical ignorance of the average American about political systems. Perhaps it was all the overblown internal propaganda during the Cold War, I don’t know. But my only friends who can recognize that America has been on the road to Socialism for the last generation, and for the last few years more than ever, came from Socialist countries too.

    Mind you, the Socialist governments we lived under enjoyed the full support and constitutionality of their laws and edicts, all of them anointed by biased courts and complacent, if not accomplice, lawmakers. And this is exactly what Obama and his party has put in high gear lately, the squashing of the American ideals laid out in the declaration of independence.

    Yet one thing I learned, that even tyrannies must count of the consent of the people, or at least enough people. So it’s not solely Obama’s, the Democrats’, the court’s, or the politicians’ fault, but the majority of Americans’, for while ignorance is forgivable, obstinate ignorance and apathy aren’t.

  5. Here in the UK we are under the impression that Obama’s ‘Universal Healthcare’ will provide health care to people who, without it, the poor, the unwaged, would receive NO real healthcare at all – or very limited healthcare. We’re a long way from Russia and Nicaragua, or so I believe and we are certainly a long, long way from Communism but it’s generally accepted that Universal Health Care is not just a good thing but a primary right in a decent society. However we still live in a country where a much better healthcare system is available for the wealthy so I guess we’re moving in the American direction. Please educate this UK citizen…..

  6. @Kim, I would suggest you look at the outcomes of other countries with Universal Health care, like our neighbors here in North America, Canada. I hear that even their PM travels across the border to pay cash for health services in the US instead of waiting 6M+. My friend, Christi who is Canadian shared this on my wall the other day (this is just a portion of what she shared but feel enough to give you an idea of what universal health care means.: “I am a Canadian that left socialism and a “free” heathcare system that cost my husband and I 60% in taxes. YES, 60%. We added it up. Federal income tax, provincial taxes, property taxes, and the GST tax of 18% along with the high gas taxes (16 yrs ago it cost canadians 100$ to fill their gas tanks whereas in the US it was 19.99 to fill the same tank, today my father drives across the border to get his gas….) it added to about 60% income. On a $60,000 salary we brought home about $2,000 a month and out of that we had to pay another 18% on EVERYTHING WE BOUGHT and any services (think hair cut) we received. This was after paying 40% income tax.”

  7. The sneaky process seems to have been with the drug culture..the people I know who are on welfare have had the option to misuse their money to not help their children, but to buy more liquor, more drugs, etc. with little or no consequences. Who really looks for a job under the influence of mind altering drugs? Who can hold down a job? Who cares? Who does what it takes to help the addict to see his addictions must be dealt with and not seen as that he or she needs to keep living off of the government to pay for their drugs? It is a vicious cycle and I’ve seen more and more good people fall hard in this culture that gets worse everyday. The likes of Obama and his cohorts KNEW they were letting this country go to “pot,” and that is how they have made puppets of so many..the country needs REAL help for the addicts…we have allowed addictions to run our country, and anyone can take office and do anything they want when they have the masses under some kind of drug induced influence…think about it.

  8. Well I can’t comment on Canada but speaking as one who lives in a country which is horrendously taxed on wages and nearly everything we buy I am pretty sure that our healthcare system doesn’t cost each taxpayer 60% and we seldom have to wait 6 months for treatment – especially urgent treatment. I understand that a lot of anti-NHSS propaganda has been culled from the UK tabloid concerning the NHS but mostly from the Neo-Nazi tabloid ‘The Daily Mail’. As for Canada’s PM crossing the border for health care – in the UK he wouldn’t have to. He’s simply go to Private Healthcare which, in any case is indirectly subsidised by taxpayers anyway. But, really, its the suggestion that universal healthcare is Communist that I find so difficult to grasp. Perhaps our right wing Conservative government looks Communist to American eyes – goodness knows what the opposition looks like if that’s the case. Here both government and opposition look the same. And, for the poor, feel the same.

  9. @Kim: I have Catholic eyes, not American eyes. I further invite you to re-read my post. I believe that you are missing my point. Thank you and God bless you.

  10. Alessandra,

    This comparison of the U.S. to Nicaragua was very interesting, and I wonder how you would respond to two observations. (I am a U.S. Catholic. I speak very poor Spanish, and I am interested in Central America.)

    1. While many Central Americans may have embraced leftist politics because of objective poverty, many in the U.S. who have embraced leftist politics have never personally experienced poverty or oppression. Here, leftism is largely a product of social engineering, a purer expression of Orwellian trickery.

    2. Isn’t it true that Daniel Ortega is at least somewhat pro-life and has resisted the attempts of the United Nations abortionists to impose their will on Nicaragua?

    Thank you.

  11. @Mike:
    1. My mother agrees with you on this, she says, “hasta que te pisen los cayos, no sabes lo que en realidad es!” (until they step on your toes, you don’t realize reality). There might be those Central Americans that embrace leftist politics that also didn’t experience poverty or oppression but, like in my case, they MUST have a relative or a friend who did. Orwellian trickery is alive and well…this administration targets “Latinos” (which in reality Central Americans aren’t)…but I want to even say that there are some that did go through oppression of some sort but, sadly, still have bought into or have been slowly coaxed into believing the socialist agenda (minus the title, of course).

    2. Ortega, pro-life? Yeah, until he sends one of his cronies to blow your head off. Seriously, if Ortega advocates that position, he only does so to resist the “imperialist west’s” attempts to kill off third world countries by contraceptive genocide. It’s a resistance of imperial hegemony, and the realization that they have to have people in order to exploit the proletariat and brainwash future chattel. In the meantime, I’m glad if they are no longer pushing for abortions yet I’m not clear if that is a true statement.

    Thank you for your comment. 🙂 Alessandra

  12. Kim from the UK,

    The UK has chronic issues with health care outcomes and expenditures, waits and rationing. Couple that with a budget deficit on par with the US (per capita), and I’m not sure how you find your health care system all that appealing. Perhaps its a salve to have the private option, which I inevitably here every time I chime in on a healthcare thread with folks from the UK. I have watched PM’s Questions over here in the US for years. (would that President Obama had to answer to Congress in such a direct fashion) The problem of cost containment, outcomes, and expenditures are a consistent problem there which PM after PM gets hammered on, so again I’m not sure quite where you’re coming from that there aren’t fundamental problems with the sociocommunist approach to public expenditures and the economy.

    It is plain to see, at least to me, that socialism only works in small scale homogeneous populations, and it only works with a flush supply of cash on hand to appease everyone feeding at the public trough. Because everyone is on the public dole for healthcare, there is no choice but to ration and cost contain there, where you have fewer specialists and they get paid less than their general practice peers (which I’m not opposed to… the market dictates that if your cost of service is too high to bear, your cost of service will come down or you will go out of business… and that isn’t happening here because of lack of cost containment).

    The US system has several structural problems that could be solved if dealt with in concert, but aren’t, because the socialist doesn’t want free market solutions, they want socialist solutions, because it enlarges their power base upon which to cull voting blocks. Every socialist is a hammer, and every problem in society is a nail. There is a place for the government, when there is no profit motive, but a need. There is a place for defense and infrastructure, but not the leviathan of The State.

    Structural problems we have: employer based insurance instead of person based insurance, inability to join groups as an individual, insurance sold on a state by state basis only limiting competition, excessive reliance on and presence of specialists instead of internists or general practitioners, and notorious litigation and insurance costs because of tort laws.

    Lastly there is the legitimate capitalist problem of drug and equipment manufacturers seeking, parasitically at times, to extract the maximum amount of profit from drug lines that are often unnecessary. This situation is compounded by the laborious cost and time with drug and procedural approval processes.

    This country has many tails that wag the dog (multinational corporations principally) and I’m afraid that as the State grows larger, the tails will only wag the dog of the State more than they do already with our bought for, paid for government.


  13. Thank you Erika for expressing this. The pain you feel is justified. Dependency of government is a social cancer.

  14. Glendon, Alessandra,

    [I too have Catholic eyes incidentally] I seem to have hit a very raw nerve. I don’t believe that everything goes well with our health service but I could cite countless cases where hard working but poor people, as well as non working but wealthy people, have had life saving treatment. As a Catholic I believe this is how it SHOULD be.

    Glendon despite the length of your post you didn’t say whether you believe the UK is under a Communist government, socialist if you prefer.

    Alessandra. If I’m missing your point it may be that it isn’t that easy to see. Maybe I’m just dumb so could you tell me what I’m missing.

  15. FWIW, Obamacare is not universal health care, AFAIK. Rather, makes it mandatory to purchase health care insurance. IOW, it just forces those poor people, or perhaps those just not poor enough, to prioritize health insurance over food, lest they be fined… err, I mean taxed.

  16. @Kim: I never said you were dumb, sorry if you took it that way, or as you say, “struck a nerve”. Now could you please tell me how the system in the UK helps fund lifestyles instead of what they claim (or what the US government is claiming to pay for). As Augustine said so well, what this does is force people who already aren’t able to pay for health insurance to pay, BY FORCE – or be taxed/fined. The system IS broken, that’s a given, but this forced universal health care plan is just another form of socialism. That’s my point. The Church is against Socialism. Period.

  17. Thank you for sharing your father’s story, eternal rest grant unto him O Lord.

  18. ideology is such a blinding force that only the grace of God can break through it, argument or an apeal to reason rarely breach these walls. Only prayer and fasting can reach many of these souls. Thank you for this perspective and your experiences.

  19. The poor receive care here too. Now. Google around some and find for me a hospital in the US that refuses to care for you if you cannot pay?

    There isn’t one.

    The UK has been quite left of center and socialist ever since the war but really previously, since the industrial revolution in the 1800s. Even a cursory read of UK political history shows that.

    To speak basically on socialism and communism, and sorry for being curt, but a socialist is a communist too cowardly to announce it. It’s the velvet gloved, soft peddled statism “because they care” and they know better than you.

    “Here here. Let’s us tell you what to do, say, live, eat, sleep, work. Because we care. We are the vanguard. Let us keep the wolves of capitalism at bay. We will provide your needs. We will help birth you, raise you, educate you, employ you, support you, and bury you when you pass on. There there… comfortable care in the cradle to grave nanny state. Just remember to vote for us come election time.”

    It is always amusing and sad that Europeans don’t realize the gravely deleterious effects of socialism, perhaps because you are immersed in it from birth. As a comedian, of all people, said recently here in America (paraphrasing): there is great merit in aiding other people. There is no merit in accepting and furthering a State that takes from all to help some, at gunpoint. People sacrifice their freedom to security. Read some good Edmund Burke quotes on that topic. He was quite the charmer. Her majesty’s average subject has no idea how to be charitable… because there’s a government program for that.

    The state in the UK may not actually hold a gun to you, since they ostensibly have none, but make no mistake – you live is a planned socialist and oh so coercive state run country. And now that the UK has allowed in an army of Muslims and the threat of Islamic terrorism is on the prowl, you have surrender the last meager vestiges of privacy to your 99,487,838,848 CC cameras that blanket the UK. I understand it might be a depressing thought that the only way to escape the bowels of the predicament your in is to move to another country, but perhaps you enjoy being a ward of the state.

    For some light reading, examine Quod Apostolici Muneris, Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical that puts forth the tenets of the socialist state, and then condemns them. Once again, as Pius XI said, “One cannot be at the same time a sincere Catholic and a true true Socialist.”

  20. That was awesome sharing Alessandra. I will put it like John P. “Depedendency on the govt. is social cancer”.

  21. Glendon Cheshire.

    We really have 99,487,838,848 CC cameras that blanket the UK? I am really a ward of the state?

    Well thank goodness that we have the internet so I can learn this from outside of my own country. [And please don’t read that as irony or facetiousness – isn’t it true that the last people that know that they are slaves are slaves?] My family and I are planning on moving before the legislation goes through that makes it mandatory for each of us to have all our details barcoded via tatoo on to our forearms. We’ve seen the future and it’s a step too far.

  22. Alessandra, as someone who grew up among many first generation Cuban immigrants, I want to say, I have had the same feelings reading their responses to Obamacare. I simply can’t understand how people whose parents fought their way out of a country like that to avoid this exact type of law would ever be in favor of American turning Socialist. People have become complacent with the status quo that the Democrats are the party of immigrants and they accept whatever is given them by the Democrats. It’s truly sad.
    Thank you for your well thought out and worded response to this truly sad issue.

  23. My faith in America is restored when I hear of immigrants who risk it all to come here.

  24. Alessandra, you know how much I admire your courage and enthusiasm. So glad to see you share such a personal story with those who may never have exposure to first-person testimonies.

    To those seeking more information: the healthcare situation here is far more complicated than just who pays for what. Once upon a time doctors were paid by their patients, not insurance companies, and many bartered. They could afford to charge reasonable fees because higher education was not federally subsidized (thus rapidly increasing the cost without increasing productivity or results); there were fewer frivolous lawsuits (thus malpractice insurance was cheap or even unnecessary); there were fewer rules about how they could run their businesses, including price setting. And still charitable organizations like the Church operated hospitals where even the poorest could receive quality care. And that is just the tip of the iceberg. Insurance companies may not sell their products across state lines, eliminating true open-market competition. In many states the insurance companies do not even have the power to decide which products to offer for which prices. What the local debate tends to boil down to is not who deserves good care, but how it should be paid for and by whom.

    As practicing Catholics we who oppose this act do not deny our responsibility to perform acts of mercy and charity. We only ask for the freedom to do it of our own will. We are called to contribute our time, talent, and treasure, not just have our treasure confiscated. Mother Teresa did not spend her time collecting billions of dollars to help the sick in Calcutta. She spent hours holding children, bathing the terminally ill, praying with and over the people in her care. Can anyone honestly accuse her of not paying her fair share?

    ObamaCare is not patient-based reform that will improve the efficiency and quality of our current system. It’s designed to eventually eliminate our free market and establish a government monopoly- one step closer to dependence on those who are supposed to represent us. It is purely an economic and political strategy to further an agenda and usurp power. Do not be fooled by those who claim this is about helping the least among our brothers.

  25. Excellent Article, Alessandra, I think that the problem with some of our friends and relatives is that the spanish media is so pro-Obama that they do not report things the way they are and they try with all of their programming to brain wash us , they have been doing it for years, it is about making us worship the wrong idols and to go after the wrong ideals. . Univision and Telemundo and all those so called role models from those channels like Jennifer Lopez and Eva Longoria., Jorge Ramos.have no clue, what our culture is all about or they are trying to make us forget..and become who we are not. We are about #1 God and FAITH, #2 Hard work, #3 strong moral values. The first generations that came to this country were not about handouts and welfare, it was all about hard work and the opportunity to make a living in a free country. Univision and Telemundo are all about ratings and $$, and so they are pro- illegal inmigration and they promote candidates who fit that agenda.The hispanic american had been hit harder when it comes to unemployment, why would they vote for a candidate that is all about triplicating the national debt and making it hard for business to survive? . I just pray that this November, we can really go back to our basic principles and put FAITH , Family & Country first. How can we support a candidate like president Obama, the most pro-abortion president ever? Pro-gay marriage, A president that has gone against the first amendment (right to practice religion) to impose HIs way to the catholic church. He cannot impose his beliefs on the church, Not in America! We have to think of the future of our children: “Over the past several decades, we have stolen 15 trillion dollars from future generations” and finally, we need to vote for candidate(s), not just for president, congress, the House, who are going to restore America and respect our constitution. We owe it to our Founding Fathers. To be citizens of this great nation is a privilege, and it is not about handouts , food stamps, and free cellular phones…..Social justice is about giving the human being the opportunity to better himself/herself. No more BONES! No more last minutes promises of legal inmigration for ALL..and no deportations. We can’t sell our soul to the devil for such a promise. We need jobs, we need to be able to practice our faith without interference from the Government. This November, God please give us wisdom.

Comments are closed.