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My Mother’s Escape from Communism

May 6, 2011 by  

My Mother’s Escape from Communism

With Mother’s Day coming this Sunday, it seemed like a perfect time to tell you about some of my mother’s extraordinary adventures. Bear with me for a bit and I’ll even tell you how to get a free copy of the book she wrote about one of them.

What started out as a vacation turned into an adventure. The adventure turned into a tragedy. And out of the tragedy came one of the most amazing stories of courage, patriotism and perseverance it has ever been my experience to witness. Here’s what happened.

My father was “king of the hill” in the rural southern Indiana town where we lived in the mid-1950s. He was president of the largest employer in the county, on the board of the only country club, president of United Way and had been given just about every other honor and accolade it was possible to garner. As his wife, my mother was just as respected and just as involved in the social activities of the town.

It all came to a sudden end when my father died of a massive heart attack one Saturday afternoon. Years of abuse to his body and stress on the job had taken their fatal toll. After the funeral, my mother’s brother insisted she come to Ft. Lauderdale for a week or two to rest and recover from the trauma she had just endured. While she was with him, Uncle Harry treated her to a long weekend in one of his favorite cities, Havana, Cuba.

Little did he know what he was unleashing. My mother fell head over heels in love with Cuba. She had never seen a place so exotic, a people so friendly, a climate so delightful or prices so reasonable. Her widow’s mite would stretch a lot further there, she realized, than it would back home.

I was at boarding school in Michigan during what followed. I wish I had saved the string of telegrams, postcards and letters that began arriving in my mailbox. Most were as brief and cryptic as, “Staying at Hotel Miramar for a while; brothers are fine.” When I got one that read, “Have taken a job and am buying an apartment,” I went to my headmaster and said, “I think I should go down there and see what’s going on. Don’t you?”

So in late November 1957, I visited Havana, Cuba, for the first time. It was just as exotic as my mother had promised. Words can’t express the excitement I felt the first time I walked into one of Cuba’s legendary casinos and saw George Raft leaning against a wall, flipping a coin. (I learned later that he was hired to do this; the hotel provided him a complimentary gorgeous suite, all expenses, and, rumor had it, all the liquor and feminine companionship he wanted whenever he flew from Hollywood for a visit.)

I was quickly made a member of what was called the ABC Colony. This was a group of American, British and Canadian expats, most of whom worked for major U.S. companies and lived the good life in Cuba. And let me tell you, it was a very good life indeed, while it lasted. Maids, gardeners, cooks and chauffeurs cost a few dollars a week. The social life was frenetic; during my first two weeks in Havana, there was something going on almost every day and certainly every night.

Within a few months it was as though my mother had lived there all her life. She became the society columnist for The Havana Post, the largest English-language newspaper on the island. (One of her most popular columns was a weekly collection of goings-on she called “Woodchips.”)

In the memoir she wrote about those days, she described “bouncing on a bridal bed with Maureen O’Hara.” And how she ended up “on the cutting room floor with Alex Guinness.” One of my favorite tales was when she went out to buy a used ironing board—and ended up owning one of Havana’s most popular antique shops.

I think my two brothers would agree that it was an idyllic life… for a while. But it all changed on Jan. 1, 1959, when Fidel Castro and a bunch of “bearded ones” marched into Havana.

What would this revolutionary new leader be like? The New York Times called him “the George Washington of Cuba.” But he turned out to be—as every American in Havana had been warned he was—nothing but a murderous communist tyrant.

You will not be surprised to learn that within a few months, my mother had lost everything she had worked so hard to build—the newspaper had been seized, her shop had been closed, goods were impossible to get and freedom had become just a memory.

When she was finally able to leave Cuba, eight months after the Castro takeover, she was allowed to carry two suitcases; her sons could each carry one. Everything else was left behind. She returned to the United States almost penniless to start life over.

And there my story would probably end, except for one thing: Someone invited a representative of something called the Fair Play for Cuba Committee to speak at her church in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. That was all it took to get her Irish up, as she would put it. She went to the meeting and denounced the speaker as a liar.

In no time at all she was being interviewed by the media and was being asked to address a handful, then dozens, then scores of community organizations. I don’t think she ever turned down an invitation. She and her white hats (she must have owned 30 of them) became famous—or some would say, infamous.

My mother became a heroine among the many refugee groups in the area. I still have a few of the decorations some grateful Hungarian freedom fighters bestowed on her.

Articles about Mom’s activities began appearing in the Cleveland Press and in other media. She was even asked to write a series of stories for the newspaper. And the hate mail and phone calls came pouring in.

These only made her more determined to fight. She started a group called the Organization to Fight Communism which held regular meetings and sponsored a series of anti-Communist lectures in town. She debated Gus Hall, the head of the Communist Party USA, and organized people to picket his meetings. The more she was threatened, the more determined she became.

One of her favorite mementos of this time in her life is a letter she got from J. Edgar Hoover, the director of the FBI, congratulating her on her many contributions to our country. To say she was thrilled to pieces would be an understatement.

As you can see, I come by my anticommunism honestly. For a while, in fact, I argued we should make the government bigger and stronger, precisely so it could do a better job fighting “the Red menace.” But the story of my own transition from the left edge of the spectrum to the right (some would say, the far-far-right) will wait for another day.

Many years after all of the excitement died down, Mom decided to write a book about her experiences. She called it “A Fool Walked In (To Cuba).” And while I may be a little bit prejudiced (OK, I’ll admit it: On this topic I’m a <strong>lot</strong> prejudiced), I think it’s a thrilling, exciting story of one person’s courage, dedication, determination and accomplishments.

That’s why I am delighted to announce that my publisher, Personal Liberty Digest, is making Mom’s book available—for free, with no strings attached—to anyone who wants to read it. Just click here (7.11 MB) to enjoy the memories and accomplishments of the feistiest lady it has been my great privilege to know.

Mom ascended to her heavenly reward 21 years ago this summer. But part of me hopes she knows about today’s column and is smiling in appreciation.

To all of you reading this, please celebrate your own mother’s accomplishments this Sunday, as you wish her a happy Mother’s Day.

Until next time, keep some powder dry.

–Chip Wood

Chip Wood

is the geopolitical editor of He is the founder of Soundview Publications, in Atlanta, where he was also the host of an award-winning radio talk show for many years. He was the publisher of several bestselling books, including Crisis Investing by Doug Casey, None Dare Call It Conspiracy by Gary Allen and Larry Abraham and The War on Gold by Anthony Sutton. Chip is well known on the investment conference circuit where he has served as Master of Ceremonies for FreedomFest, The New Orleans Investment Conference, Sovereign Society, and The Atlanta Investment Conference.

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  • Anthony

    She’s a great lady, Chip. You have a lot to be proud of.

    • Bitter Libertarian

      I agree…Our Creator endowed us with the free will to do as we please..a dangerous thing at times and a great thing at others. This is a clasic story of what good can come from free speech & free will at Liberty to be expressed, not supressed by Govt Thugs,

    • EddieW

      The Sad thing is Communism is already being enacted in the US City by City!!! This is a FACT!! Pls see video because we don’t have alot of time to stop it! It has already come to my City!!! You have to fix the (dot)! This IS part of UN Agenda 21!!

      • BKWsr

        This is an excellant artical. The problem with our country is people do not know what communisium is. The poor think it is a way out. All the people who support it think it’s some great utopian way of life. They don’t realise the truth untile it is to late. I don’t care what you call it, communisium, socialism, it’s still the same bird, But people buy into it, and support it. We have to Educate them. Pay attention to what is taught our children, I am constantly talking to my children to reteach them the truth. I state all the time what is the truth, and that is you have no rights, you own nothing, The education you recieve is all what the Gov. thinks you need. not what you want or would like to have. Dare complain and you are a trouble maker to be reeducated. If this is such a good life then why must it be forced. People who opposed it killed. all others pleaced in reeducation camps.If it is so good then why is it must be accieved by force of arms.

        • Universal Man

          What the sad thing is how much people don`t know. Political systems are many, Communism is a type of Socialism.There as many different forms of socialism as there are different forms of capitalism & different grades of democracy.There are different types of communism,millitary,Citizens Assembly ( Full Democracy),Hippy Communalism (Full Democracy,& others. Fascism is Nationalist(Racist)Socialism. If you change a political system by a few strokes it behaves differently, becomes another system. People seem to think there are only a couple of choices. What we have now is disgustingly corrupted pro capitalism that bad that law & democracy itself is overidden & class division becomes intolerable. There is a balance between capitalism & socialism that has to be maintained or society collapses.

  • ena

    Great article. I left Cuba as a young child in 1968. What a great life it could have been. The Cuba my parents knew. Yes, it was all you say, and more. Weeks before my mom left, she went to visit her Communist aunt in Havana, who said; I don’t know why you are leaving here, in the future, USA will be like a socialist country also. She did not believe it. Years later, seems like we are becoming just that. Wake up America!!!

    • TIME

      Chip, Ena,

      I agree with you how sad this event was. My Grandmother was Cuban my Grandfather a former Tuskegee Airman they lived a great life in Cuba until the late 1950′s also.
      My Grandmothers family were all killed by Castro’s troops their farm and land taken away as well thier Hotel and store.
      My Grandfather worked with the Anti Castro units that were slaughterd at the Bay of Pigs in 1961.
      He made it out, but many of his good friends didn’t to include my Grandmothers brother, my uncle. If they were still alive they would be broken hearted to see what condition the US is now in.

      Americans just don’t get it, its the old slowly boil the frog factor!

      • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


        That’s quite a family history. Make sure your kids / grandkids know it by heart. How sad.

        I had the honor of knowing a Cuban Freedom Fighter in the late 60s and he was a marvelous peron. Hard to understand, but a truly marvelous individual – as was his family.

        JFK’s selling out of the Bay of Pigs Freedom Fighters was beyond dispicable. I knew that evan as a young child.

        • TIME

          Old Henry,
          I have a picture of my Grandfather with FDR and his wife and it was signed by them both its one of my treasures, I also have a beautiful picture of my Uncle Raul and Granddad and Mom signed by Eisenhower.

          My real Son and my grandkids don’t seem to care for anything but MONEY.
          But the good thing is that the young fellow we raised has a keen interest in all of this history, he could care less about money.
          He loves Science and History by the way he has a 4.0 GPA at Cal Tec.
          We are so damm proud of this kid I have no words other than what a Great Kid.

          • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


            You mention your “real” son and the son you raised. I would conclude he was a foster kid? Being parents / grandparents is more than blood.

            My maternal grandparents were not “blood”, but it never mattered. Ove transends.

            Too bad about your first son and his kids. All I can do is shake my head. (Hear it rattle?) They may come around. Let’s hope it doesn’t happen “too late”.

            You can indeed be very proud of your other son. He sounds like quite a kid.

            Here is a suggestion. If you have Word on your PC you should create a document file and just begin typing your memories starting with your earliest childhood.

            I began doing that several months ago and it’s amazing what you can recall on different days. Sometimes reading earlier entries triggers other memories.

            Being old enough to have lost all my grandparents and my parents I realized that once I am gone – it is gone. I wish so many times I had literally taken notes while talking with them in years past. You think you will remember, but you do not.

            I have an older sister whose brain I “pick” on occasion. I put everything down no matter its triviality. I have a gift for dates, but names?…. Forget it. That’s where I query my sisters and childhood friends.

          • 45caliber

            Old Henry:

            That is an excellent suggestion. When my daughter was in high school history, I glanced through her book and suddenly realized that a number of things I had lived through were being taught to her. One made me angry. It stated, “The military lost the war in Vietnam (I was there) but the heroic (their word) Senator HH Humphrey and committee were able to form a truce long enough to pull them out of Vietnam and save their lives.”

            It made me so mad that I sat down and wrote the entire story of my time in the military – mostly in Nam. One of the history teachers wanted to read it when my daughter told him (after she had read it) so she gave him a copy with my blessing. As far as I know, it is still in the school library. I know it ended up being read by many of my daughter’s friends and has been read by others since. In fact, at least one person in Afghanistan right now has a copy.

            It made my kids all happy to have a copy of what I had done and they plan to insure that my grandchildren read it as well.

            So your story hit home. Everyone should do this – if for no other reason than to document what the country was like before it was ruined.

          • TIME


            You know I got a real leg up on that when I married my second wife. As I have noted before her family is in the loop of the Higher level Progressives. Yes, her dad had a work up on me done by one of his people to see if I was someone they would feel comfortable with.
            As I have said many times before I am a recovering Democrat who also was a real SDS member a former Hippy and all around 1960′s Flower Power Child etc..
            So My profile was a fit as a really good worthless idiot who had done quite well for myself, thus I was taken in the fold.

            The part that was worth while is that I have my family tree back to 1770′s. Its really quite a chilling view back to the French side of the family who were “Bankers” who came to the US and invested in large plantations in Georgia.
            They were the ones who acquired my Great Great Grandmother in Savana when she was just 14 years old at a slave market in the 1840′s.
            And from there its just a wild ride.

            I am sure that others have a far more colorful past as well more than likly they can find their roots much deeper. But I am very grateful for the history I have.
            So all in all thats a Great Idea for everyone to have a good understanding of your familys history of where you came from.

    • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


      Thank you for your story. Cuba – What a sad chapter in history.
      And thank you for urging us to WAKE UP!
      Maybe if enough such as yourself continue to beat the drum we will elect Ron Paul and get on the correct path.

  • SuzyQ

    Great article – and thanks for the book link.

    • 45caliber

      I agree. This is one reason that I always would like those who believe Communism is so great to actually go and live there a time. I’ve suggested it to many. They would change their minds in a hurry!

  • Ret

    Your great aunt’s comment sends chills down my spine. if you can figure out how to wake up the people in this country, please let me know. I’ve tried.

    • TIME

      Its very hard to wake up Idiots, let alone retrain MONKEY TOOLS. Idiots don’t like to learn.
      Monkeys have a brain the size of a pea, thats why they can do simple task only. Its easy to confused a MONKEY TOOL – Thats why they toss a hand full of crap at you when you rattle their cages.

      • DaveH

        The truth is that their thinking is clouded by visions of the trough.
        It truly amazes me how easily people will sell their souls to the devil for a few bucks (of other peoples’ money).

        • libertytrain

          I was looking at some Impressionist art the other day – and you know if you are looking at a piece far away, it looks beautiful, in sync, perfect. As you move closer and closer it becomes a mash of different colors or paint strokes – they look random and nonsensical the closer you get to the piece; then you realize all this nonsense is carefully placed so that as we go through everyday life it all looks perfectly fine and logical – only when we start to really look closer do we realize the truths – and it’s garbled.

          • TIME


            You can get a job as an Art Critic super eye, great observation and so bloody true its cray.

          • libertytrain

            You are an artisan of music; I am an artisan of paint. Oddly most artisans I know, not all, but most, are dripping with the lib left gibberish. I haven’t quite figured why.

          • TIME

            I think it has to do with many who paint also feel that they are somehow immune to everything, you may also note many feel they are more highly evolved somehow.
            Like my first wife, she was also able to spend money like it was water in a lake, did she ever make any money? NO.
            But she had an opinion on everything and she was always right no matter what.
            I would have made my first Million 5 years faster had she not been spending what I earned as fast as I could make it. As I recall there was always something she needed or she would almost surly die.

            BTW, she also told me she was pregnant with my child, so as I couldn’t fathom the question of any other method, thus I married her. She had our son 12 months later, See how well that worked out.
            Be that as it may my Son was the only good thing that I took away from that page in my life.
            Oh also I had to pay her $10K per month for ten years just for the pleasue. She sucked some other meant head in, he went belly up years ago, then victim #3 who as I understand commited suicide.

            And you know whats really crazy – She still calls me now and then asking for money; as I OWE HER as she like to say. I stole from her he prime, really we were only married for five years before I was almost locked in a rubber room.

            BTW, She still has never sold a single one of her painting’s.

            Man life is a strange trip…

          • libertytrain

            Time re: “I think it has to do with many who paint also feel that they are somehow immune to everything, you may also note many feel they are more highly evolved somehow.”

            You are correct, I think. Oh, the stories I could tell you as well. :) And, I have sold paintings. Every State in this country, Canada and several in Europe and England. Yet, the truth is artists are a dime a dozen. When I realized that, everything became clearer. In Naples, Fl back in the 80′s and 90′s I think there were three on my very short block alone, and they all needed to tell me the proper way to paint and the brushes I used were wrong…. Only thing is, I was the only one actually selling my work…

          • DaveH

            Could it have anything to do with this?

          • libertytrain

            Yes, Dave, that doesn’t help matters. Realistically it’s a nice job for some, an ego trip for most others.

          • Thamera

            I think you could also include the “nature-lovers” in your comment about painters. They seem to think that because they “live” among nature and support the environmental (wacko) movement even placing the importance of an animal above humanity, that they are somehow immune to the consequences of say crossing the path of a hungry bear. LOL

          • Bruce D.

            I enjoyed reading your story Time. I think there is a couple of chapters in everyones life they would like to rewrite.

          • libertytrain

            Thamera, I think you are right. Funny thing is we’re all just plain folk trying to make our way in the world – living in illusions or delusions. I’m always watching for the bear, but I live in the woods. :)

          • 45caliber


            I know what you mean about how an artist looks at things. But I have a story for you.

            One instructor in college taught “Western Art and Music” that I had to take to graduate. Unfortunately she was the only person who taught that class at that time and it conflicted with another class I badly needed in Engineering. My advisor told me to sign up for it and he would get it changed to another class within a week so I could take the class I needed.

            My wife was nervous when I told her of the woman. She had taken a class under her. The woman was a nut for modern art, insisting it was the only “true” art form.

            The second (and final) class I had under the instructor was about art – the only thing she normally taught despite what was supposed to be taught. She had us open the book to a point where there were two full length pictures. One was a famous art scene of mountains and a river. The other was modern, composed of a number of colored lines running across and up-and-down the canvas, leaving most of it white.

            She insisted that the mountain scene was poor art because “anyone with a camera could do it better”. The other picture was marvulous, though.

            After she had raved about it’s originality for about ten minutes, I raised my hand. “Can you tell me why this is so much greater than what could be done by any idiot with colored pencils and a straight edge?” I asked. I already knew this was my last class under her.

            I thought she was going to have a heart attack. She turned red and became very angry. The class all laughed. She didn’t reply but I’m certain that I would have gotten an F for that course if I had stayed there.

            And the reason she thought modern art was so great? She considered herself a great artist – and it was the only thing she could possibly do. She didn’t have enough talent to paint anything else.

          • 45caliber


            And for some odd reason, about 80% of the grants from the Endowment for the Arts goes to the orchestras, etc. run by the various members of the committee that makes the decisions. The rest goes to odd “artists” who couldn’t sell any “art” if their lives depended upon it. (like blood art) And then the committee members can’t understand why we would prefer to not support them in the manner to which they can become accustomed.

        • TIME

          I can’t argue with you as per your norm what you posted is dead on.

        • sadie

          One of the biggest problems is we in America have been living so good for so long that most folks simply can’t invision a America any different. Also, most people are ignorant of history so they can’t see this path has been taken again and again and yet again, with disasterous effects.

          • DaveH

            It’s right here for anybody whose mind is open enough to investigate.
            The Bigger Government gets (call it what you want, Communism, Fascism, Socialism), the poorer the country gets:

          • 45caliber

            sad but true.

        • libertytrain

          Nice Story 45 – to me unless they can really paint like a realist first as Picasso or Dali as example – I don’t see how they can evolve to the modernist style. Silly lady…I’ve known “artists” like that….Glad you “showed her up” :)

  • Tom

    Wow. :-)

    Thanks for sharing those memories, and for sharing her book freely.

    • Christin

      Yes, Chip, thanks so much.

      Thank you for sharing your story… and am sorry for the hardships your family faced.
      I guess we all have a story to tell.

      My Dad lives in another state and turned 84 this year, but I have not lived with him since I was 18 when my parents got divorced, and we have visited each other less than a couple handful of times since then. My Mom also lives in another state and turned 80 last month and I have not lived with her since I was 19, nor seen her much… they both moved away from me.

      Sure wish more people would speak up and share their true communist stories that they lived like you have done so more could understand the loss of freedom and life that will occur if/when we [America] go there.

  • Bob G

    I was a United States Marine stationed at Guantanamo Bay in 1971-1972. Yes, I knew what a Gitmo was long before it became fashionable. Cubans worked on base during the day and told us stories about Cuba and Castro. It was not a grand life they lived. Every Friday (payday) they had to pay the Cuban guards at the gate or they would not be allowed to return to work on Monday. Such was their life. They risked bringing their families across mine fields at night in order to gain political asylum in the US. I never knew what happened to them after they were taken into custody. I was ther and I saw and listened. And our own politicians try to tell us what a great country Castro has made. I say go live there a–holes.

    • Dave

      I’ve been to Cuba twice in the last 6 years. Yes the people have been through alot since Russia pulled out. The Railways are non existing, the highways are in bad shape & everyone is on the food rationing system, but I hate to think what the country would be like if they allowed you guys in there again. There would be a Pizza Hut & Macdonld’s on every corner. If you live in such a free country Why can’t you travel to Cuba??? I have no problem.

      • Skyknight

        Sounds like you might agree with communisim. Pizza Hut is far better than food rationing any day in my opinion.
        Too bad the people in the US are stupid enough to elect a Commie as President.
        If they don’t wise up soon, we will be on food rationing here also.

      • Mari

        Dave, Do U think being twice to Cuba in the last 6 years makes U an expert on Cuba? How arrogant of U!!!
        I lived 22 years in that hell my country has become and still have family and friends there suffering with no hope and you dare to say they are better off without a McDonald’s? And more important, it has been 52 years of repression, prisons full of political prisoners, total control of everybody’s lives, etc, etc, etc. I’ll tell U what: anything would do for them, because NOTHING on earth is worse than living under a Comunist Dictatorship.

        • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


          Well stated! And you are right on the money about the Communist in OUR White House. That jug-eared Castro must go – at any cost.

      • DaveH

        Why did our Government ban travel to Cuba (actually the ban is on spending money in Cuba)? Simple, it is right next door, and an excellent example of that which Big Government creates. Does anybody think the leaders want us to learn that kind of reality?

        And Dave, you can go there anytime you want (please stay):

      • 45caliber


        I have no interest in travelling to Cuba to see a country that has suffered under Communism for so long. I can see people that bad in other places. But I would urge you to actually live there for a couple of years. You might not believe it such a nice place to live after that.

  • Monroe Riddle

    God is the answer for freedom,and it can start with one brave man.Don’t give up find God then pray .We have taken him out of our schools,city goverment and now federal goverment.anyone can see the damage this has caused.but freedom starts with God and one brave man throught prayer and faith this man can move the earth.We havn’t seen anything yet wait till sept when our goverment along with France,and Britan form a two state agreement to establish and divide Jerusalem and Israel.God said Jerusalem is my citydon’t touch it This promice was written thousands of years ago but God said I will destroy any nation that does that,he also said that he who watches over Israel never slumber or sleeps.This is our final warning If you pray pray about this

    • Skyknight


  • DaveH

    Great story Chip. I’m sorry to hear about the trials your mother had to suffer. Hopefully, we aren’t all headed for the same.

  • DaveH

    Did anybody watch the Republican presidential debates last night?
    Ron Paul was getting big applause for his answers. At one point he even suggested that Government be cut in half. I’m for that. As John Stossel said — We should cut Government in half and then cut some more. Personally, I recommend cutting it by two-thirds.
    I think, thanks to Fox giving Ron a platform, the Repubs are going to have a hard time stifling his voice this election like they have in the past.

    • Bitter Libertarian

      It still amazes me how our Creator can give us a “Free Will” to choose right or wrong with, but these Candidates who claim to believe in a Creator are the FIRST to PLAY GOD and regulate Free choice OUT of Peoples Lives! I loved the Question they asked Ron about regarding heroin…I loved his allot of applause for that!

      • TIME

        I LMAO, that was too bloody funny, and how true it is.

      • DaveH

        I am amazed at how brave Ron is to address such a sacred right-wing taboo. But that just illustrates his honesty. We need that dearly to offset all the dishonest politicians we are surrounded by.
        I don’t remember if it was last night, but I have heard him retort to some, who talk about all the drug-related crime, that 90% of the crimes are a result of the criminalization of drugs. The Drug Wars are the right-wing version of the left-wing welfare state. They cause more problems then existed before the do-gooders got involved, and then the do-gooders tout those problems as an excuse for even more controls. As Hitler said “What good fortune for governments that the people do not think”.

    • TIME


      As I am getting ready for a trip I did get to watch it after we got in. I think that Ron Paul is the best of all of them.

  • Tom from Idaho

    One of the disheartening things to me is that, when I talk, even to people who agree with me, there is a sense of being totally discouraged. They say their vote doesn’t count, what else can we do, we’re powerless against this lawless “regime”, etc. They’ve already given up hope; it is why I have become a Tea Party member. Then, those who are uninformed just give me that “gee whiz, that’s nice to know” blank look – - they must think I’m either a great joker or I’m crazy.
    Yes, we will be like Cuba in a few years (God forbid) if we continue on the path we’re on. I pray every day that our people in government (at least the ones who get it) have the courage to do the right thing, God save our country.

  • Dave

    We are in the final stages of becoming Communist here in the US, if we don’t come together as one and fight back, very soon it will be to late.
    Chip your mother sounds like an awesome lady, wish we had more like her in this country.

    • karolyn

      There are many like her in this country! When you dwell on the takers and the users, you fail to see the heroines!

      • DaveH

        I’d rather there be fewer takers, so less need of heros and heroines.

        • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry

          That is what we must continually strive for DaveH.

  • Mary Ann Gillispie

    Experience trumps ideology every time!! Thank you for sharing your legacy…you had exceptional examples for parents…and now you carry on the fight:) I appreciate that you generously shared her book. I had to save it to read it later, but wouldn’t miss this testimony for anything:)

    God bless you Chip, Mary Ann Gillispie, Lolo, MT

  • Laura

    Another one who experienced communism was Ayn Rand she warned us over 50 years ago….

  • Alfredo

    Good article Chip. My brother and I left Cuba in 1962 with the Peter Pan visas and three months later our parents came over. We were lucky in the sense that we had an uncle in living in Miami and had a place to stay. Life became very different for us all and we mostly missed the rest of the family and some we never saw again. Our parents worked very hard in odd jobs so that we could go to school and get ahead in life. It was a very traumatic experience one we will never forget. God Bless America!

  • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


    Great column. I got a little misty-eyed reading it near the end as my mom ascended to God 16 years ago last month. You get oover the pain, but never stop missing them.

    As a teenager I worked in a gas station in the late 60s and had the priviledge of knowing a customer who had been a Cuban Freedom Fighter and had managed to escape with his family in 61, I believe. He was a truly wonderful person and did his best to “become an American”. He passed away several years ago, but his son still lives in the area.

    Communism, socialism, progressivism are horrible, horrible systems and must always be crushed underfoot.

  • Thamera

    I have friends who left Russia and Czechoslavakia who are very concerned about the state of America today as they see a trend that is very similar to what they thought they were leaving behind. Good article Chip. Now where are all our liberal posters? LOL It’s pretty hard to defy first hand accounts and experiences. And yes, God Bless America!
    Like Maryann above posted, “experience trumps ideology every time”. Without question.

    • Skyknight

      Believe me the Liberials are rampant on AOLs Huffpost. To make it worse the Huffpost censors anyone that posts something that is contradictory to their agenda.

      • Thamera

        I don’t doubt that for a minute Skynight and right now they are on the forum poking fun at folks that don’t trust our government about the decision to not release the photos of Osama. LOL

    • http://Illinois'17th Old Henry


      Thank you for sharing your post. I was born and raised here and what I see scares me, so I can imagine the fear your friends are experiencing.

      God did Bless America, but really, why should he continue?

  • Skyknight

    You all need to visit the this link and read what it has to say about how communisim has infiltrated our country. At least now I’m not the only one that sees it.

  • Susanna in CA

    Great story! Thanks for sharing it. I hope people realize how quickly we can lose everything for the cause of the “greater good.” We must always be on guard.

  • Thamera

    No kidding Susanna. And how far removed we are from the principles and values that our constitution was founded upon and how forgetful! Our founders knew this could happen and so did a man named Alexander Tytler, a Scottish historian and contemporary of the founders, that traced the rise and fall of societies throughout history and produced what is known as the Tytler Cycle. Tytler asserted that societies are good for about 200 years before they slip back into bondage. It is very interesting and unfortunately we are following the same decline as all societies that cannot keep their freedom as they are lured by the “easy” promise of the government to take care of their every need giving into selfishness, apathy and dependence which is always followed by bondage.

    • DaveH

      As Jefferson said:
      “the natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.”

  • Jana

    I have heard it said one door is never closed without another door opening.
    Chip your mother was shoved through another door, but that new door became a beacon of light for so many others. Your mother was a beautiful and strong woman of great character.
    Thank you for sharing this part of her life and I am looking forward to reading the book.

  • American Citizen

    It takes those who have been through it to convince others of the folly of socialism and progressivism. Thank goodness for people like your mother.

  • Not an American Citizen

    I have visited Cuba and was so impressed with it, I have told everyone what a wonderful place it is and how great and courageous the people are. To think that this beautiful country was once the American and mafia’s ‘playground’ while the Cuban people were downtrodden in their own country, with no education, that they have now come to have the best literary rate and the best medical and medical research facilities in the world. It just shows what people can do when they are left to their own devices to run things themselves without being enslaved and invaded by another country.
    Compare this to present day Miami where people are living in tents because they have been thrown out of their homes by the capitalist system of foreclosures, and the movie “Gasland” where people can’t even drink the water because it is contaminated – I couldn’t believe that their drinking water actually caught fire.

    • Carol

      Now what is happening to Miami we are becoming Cuba everyday and downtrodden look what is happening to our education because of the overloaded amount of children that can’t speak English.

      What is the matter with people why don’t we just tell the truth about these people they are taking over and us Americans are becoming second class citizens.

    • Bruce D.

      NAC, I have never heard one Cuban in America that would agree with you and I know a lot of them. They would say just the opposite. Are you completely blind. When Cubans come back from visiting their relatives in Cuba they say it is getting worse and worse everytime they go. Castro admitted Communism was a failure in Cuba not that long ago. What is wrong with you NAC. Have you no powers of observation?

    • DaveH

      Oh, sure, and Cuban people are risking their lives in dangerously unsafe boats to come to the US because they just don’t appreciate Paradise.
      When the Cuban doctors are sent to other countries to bring home much needed revenue, they aren’t allowed to take their families with them (for obvious reasons).
      Here’s thanking you for not being an American Citizen.

  • judy

    I wish the women in America today were like your Mother was. She was the epitome of a patriot.
    Hopefully she is watching over us still and pulling some strings along the way.

  • Carol

    I am sick and tired of all of them they all need to go back so The Real Americans can get jobs without having to speak Spanish this is America and not cuba so we shouldn’t have to speak Spanish to get a job and that is a fact.

  • Bruce D.

    I enjoyed your article Chip. What a great year that must have been for your mother and one that you missed. I had a non Cuban American friend visit Cuba a while back by entering from another country. When he reentered this country is was threatened for going there but no charges were filed. If we can go to China we should be able to go to Cuba.

  • chuckb

    chip, your mothers biography would make a great movie. the problem is the movie producers are almost all communist.

    america is losing the patriots like your mother.

  • DaveH

    No wonder the college kids are getting so screwed up:

  • DaveH
  • BimBam

    People don’t understand that communism WAS DESIGNED TO BRING HUMAN MISERY AND SUFFERING! Karl Mark must be laffing in his grave.

    It seems people have an inclination for misery and suffering. Even here in America they never stop trying to press communism on us.


  • Pete


    Thanks for the free book !

    I’m going to read it tonight. Good way to spend a Friday night .

    You are blessed to have such a good mother ! I

  • Lib

    Thanks so much for sharing – I am enjoying my Friday night reading your mom’s thoughts – wonderful read! God bless her and you!

  • Kate8

    Has anyone else noticed the conspicuous absence of most of the looney-left posters on this article?

    What, they don’t want to hear anything against communism?

    • Mick

      Kate8 ,,,,,,Because the article hits too close to home….
      The lefties only wants the positive exposed when they’re concerned, as if there were a positive side to their preference to a Government Owning our sorry a%%es………..
      They’re supposedly against slavery but have no problem with making hard working citizens the government’s bitches…….

  • DaveH

    So that you know just how effective the Class Envy thing has become:

    What is ironic is that the low-income earners think when those taxes are raised and income is redistributed, they are going to be the receivers. Think again — most of that money is going to go into the coffers of the leaders and their buddies. Only enough money will trickle into the hands of the general populice to buy their votes.

  • Craig Ewoldt

    Hey Chip,

    Great story. Thanks for telling it. Now we live in a different world. Same old threats and more. Maybe when we move back to the US, (a lot different than even 12 years ago when we left), we can tell some of the stories about growing threats, very real here with hundreds of lives lost in the last few weeks, but which Americans want to ignore.

  • Al Sieber

    Happy Mothers Day, to all you mothers out there.

  • s c

    Under other circumstances, I might feel sorry for losers who tout the many ‘joys and wonders’ of socialism, communism, fascism and whatever other ism is currently popular. People who know from experience what is so wrong with utopian insanity are qualified to advise our “leaders.” They can also put so-called scholars and other academic retards in their place.
    America has been plagued by the ‘best and brightest’ syndrome for generations. Their well-funded plans result in the loss of freedom. The current White House wunderkind is yet another example of how easy it is to find people who will support ANY idea – as long as they get a piece of a utopian, theoretical pie.
    If only they could find ways to outsource themselves. Sooner or later, all of them succomb to the siren call of money and power. They have done NOTHING for America. They have done nothing for the world. God grant America the ability to discern, so we can single out these vermin, and export them to any country that will have them.

  • i41

    Chip, it’s too bad your mama lost her job at the brothels when the marxist scum took over.

    • http://none Chip Wood

      Gee, that sounds just like the hate mail Mom got 40 years ago. Were you sending anonymous letters back then? Or were those your parents?


  • randy crawford

    In 1964 at Anacapa Junior High School in Ventura, California, my 7th grade Spanish teacher was Ruben Martin. We all knew he was from Cuba, but he never talked about Cuba, Castro, or politics. One day, one kid asked “Hey Mr. Martin, how did you escape from Cuba?” He smiled a little ruefully and responded “I got on a plane and I flew away.” That’s all he ever said about such matters. When he died in the 1970′s, in the Ventura County Star-Free Press there appeared in the paper’s Sunday magazine an account of his life. It turned out his son had been an active revolutionary risking his life to help put Castro in power. They would for instance walk behind police, club them with baseball bats, and steal their rifles. Mr. Martin himself ended up as Castro’s first national cabinet Secretary of Health. Soon enough though, the Martin’s started learning things were not as they were engineered to appear. Martin wondered why cabinet meetings were held on Saturday mornings. It turned out that was when Castro was sending cattle trucks around town to pick up anybody he didn’t like, truck them to schools, and have them mass-executed by machine gun. With chain-link fences showing few bullet holes, the tropical rains promptly washing the blood off the grass, and bodies trucked away to be dumped into the ocean for sharks, mass-murder was easy and little incriminating evidence was left behind. His son, working at the Cuban embassy in Rome, learned that U.N. money sent to Cuba for medicine for children was being laundered by reselling the medicine to Communist China. With the money derived thereby, Castro’s new government was able to buy more arms to kill and control more Cubans. It also turned out that the cabinet was just for show, and that Castro’s real cabinet was an entirely Communist one that was meeting behind the scenes and using the on-stage show cabinet Martin was recruited into so that Castro could say “Look at these men in my [phony] cabinet. They’re not Communists, which shows the world I’m not a Communist either.” These and many other crimes and lies soon enough convinced the Martins to escape to freedom. Unfortunately, Americans are forgetting the lessons of history and increasingly accepting lies and hallucinations from the politicians, thinking somehow we can go on forever borrowing our way into the future, killing millions of our own children in abortion mills, and accepting open perversion and doubletalk into government and now even the military. As Hitler said, Castro further proved, and America is sliding toward “All you have to do is say a big lie loud enough long enough, and once you have repeated it enough the world will believe it.” That only works for a sucker audience, and those who learn the lessons of history don’t have to become suckers for being enslavedjust because another millions fools fall for the lies.


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