"The moment the Second Amendment collapses, this country will collapse, period," Manuel Martinez told TheBlaze over the phone this week.
Having escaped communist Cuba in 1962, Martinez has spent the last few years warning everyone he can about the dangers of expanding government, communism, and the alarming changes he sees happening within the United States.
Last Friday, he was able to reach more people than ever when Dan Sandini at Daylight Disinfectant posted video of his testimony on YouTube, and the story was picked up by news outlets across the country.
If you didn't see the original video, watch it below:
Martinez declined to be questioned by the pro gun-control politicians after testifying, responding only with "Freedom! Freedom!" as he walked out the door.
You cannot "compromise" on your rights, he told TheBlaze. They are "nonnegotiable," and the senators who fail to understand that are betraying the very country they have sworn to protect.
"That’s one of the very, very first things that was done in my native country, is to take away the guns from the people," he recalled. "There was a very famous...speech by Fidel Castro, which is 'armas para que?' or, 'weapons for what?'"
And it happened "little by little," Martinez said, until one day it was no longer voluntary handover of your weapons for the good of society, or just certain weapons they wanted.
"They would kill you if they found weapons in your house," Martinez' wife, who escaped Cuba the same year, told TheBlaze.
Manuel Martinez stands in front of a map of Cuba. (Photo courtesy of Manuel Martinez)
Though Martinez initially agreed with Castro in some ways, he joined the underground resistance when he saw what was happening. Caught and imprisoned for over three months, he saw friend after friend die at the hands of a firing squad. He remembers a mother throwing herself at the authorities, asking them to kill her instead of her teenage son. "They killed the son, and then they killed the mother," he said.
But in today's culture, he worries, the atrocities seem to be brushed under the rug as socialism and communism try to eke their way back into mainstream society.
"It makes my stomach revolt when I see people saying that Castro is a good guy, and people...going to Cuba to please this fellow," he said. Of Beyonce and Jay-Z, who recently made a trip of their own to the island nation, he said: "These are imbeciles! They don't know what freedom is. They are so lucky they were born in this country."
"I can’t imagine how come these people were able to get permission to go to Cuba...a criminal country," he added.
Martinez recalls, years and years ago, how they would erect a little cross for every Cuban killed at the hands of the Castro regime at the state fair in Florida. He still has photographs of the memorial, each cross with a name inscribed:
(Photo courtesy of Manny Martinez)
But Martinez was quick to note that the concern here is not Cuba or what he has lived through, but preventing the same thing from happening in America.
Between "ObamaCare," an ever-increasing number of regulations, heavy taxation, an expansion of the welfare state, and even Agenda 21 (the parallel was called "urban reform" or "agrarian reform," Martinez said), we couldn't do more if we tried to put ourselves on the same path.
"What is the reason that you have so many politicians, even in the Republican party, they don’t have the guts to tell the American people what I’m saying?" he asked. "The worst of the blind is the one that does not want to see."
Bottom line, Manny wrote in an article he hoped would help spread the word, 'It is up to you Americans, to learn what is developing in your country. It is up to you to choose between freedom, self-respect, self motivation, family and happiness versus bondage, sadness, hate, government dependency and self destruction."
"Freedom is a unique precious jewel, once stolen you cannot get it back."
- Survivor of Communist Cuba Delivers Impassioned 2nd Amendment Defense: ‘A Dictatorial Regime Will Destroy the Country’
- Massacre Survivor Tells Senate: I’m Not a Victim of Guns, But of Lawmakers Who ‘Legislated Me Out of the Right to Protect Myself and My Family’
- Russian News Outlet Pravda Prints Surprising Opinion Column Warning USA: ‘Never Give Up Your Guns’