Familia Americana-Stories of Us: A Hispanic-American’s Endless Fight for Freedom
Ever since I can remember, Nicaragua (where I was born) has been a sore topic of discussion for my family, whose lives were forever changed in 1979.
Nicaragua’s volatile history is a reason for disappointment. Politically, and since the early 1900s, the country has endured corrupt dictatorships and corrupt families, both right – and left – leaning. Economically, it is the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere after Haiti. It is in a constant state of civil conflict, resulting in endless instability and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of its citizens to date.
Yet in spite of the poverty and insecurity that plagues the country, Nicaraguans are very proud of their native land. Growing up, my family shared stories of the natural beauty and amazing people that define our Hispanic identity.
Nicaragua has the second-largest rainforest in the Americas, an active volcano, freshwater lake, and beautiful beaches with coastlines that access both the Pacific Ocean (black sand beaches) and Atlantic Ocean (white sand beaches). But it is the cultural richness of the people that Nicaraguans cherish the most.
Nicaraguan society is influenced by the many peoples who settled the land over time – indigenous, European, African, and Asian. These groups shared their heritage and enriched the culture through new foods, music, languages, etc., which are enjoyed to this day. Most significant to me, growing up in a Nicaraguan-American household, was the deep understanding and awareness I acquired of the native culture, well beyond the borders of the land. My profound appreciation of Nicaraguan mannerisms, expressions and colloquialisms, social structures, family hierarchies, and value systems are at the core of my identity, my Hispanicity.
I can understand my family’s sensitivities for Nicaragua.
I was born in Managua, Nicaragua, on July 19, 1975, less than three years after the devastating earthquake of 1972 which destroyed 90% of the capital city, killed 10,000 people and left 500,000 homeless; and four years to the day of the Marxist Sandinista revolution of July 19, 1979.
We left Nicaragua on one of the last flights before Las Mercedes airport (renamed three times since then) was shut down by the communist regime of Daniel Ortega. We arrived in New York City with the proverbial “shirt on our back and a few dollars in our pocket”, had a brief stay with relatives before moving to Miami where we set down roots and never looked back.
It is important to note that my family’s fight for freedom spans multiple generations and two continents. Each generation before me has a story to tell in their quest for freedom. Mine includes a grandfather, father, brother, cousins, etc., who served in our Armed Services and fought in wars or conflicts to defend our freedom.
Tragically, the same evils we fled from in Nicaragua are present today in the United States. The strategy is the same: propaganda, misinformation, division (oppressor vs. oppressed), social unrest, debt and economic hardship, government dependency, government overreach, domestic crisis, international distractions, State “ownership” of our children, State indoctrination in education, etc. Saddest of all is the people’s denial of it all or failure to recognize it.
We the People have lost sight of our role in sustaining this very delicate Constitutional Republic that is the United States of America. We the People have allowed our government the upper hand and, consequently, are at risk of suffering a similar fate as the countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
We the People must change the trajectory of this unhealthy “government vs. the governed” relationship and it is my absolute pleasure to acknowledge that we Hispanics have a momentous opportunity to lead this charge.
Hispanics represent a considerable portion of the U.S. population (almost 19%) as well as the population in Texas (nearly 40%). These numbers will only grow. Our community is conservative at its core; we are a people of deep faith, with ironclad family values, who appreciate a free market system, and who will fiercely defend freedom because we know first-hand what it is to lose it.
It is a great privilege to belong to the growing Hispanic Red Wave that is in motion.
I am the daughter of headstrong, resilient, and brave women who do not cower in the face of fear but confront challenges head-on. My paternal grandmother repeatedly stood up to communist soldiers who frequented her home in search of her husband (my grandfather) and her son (my father). Both were considered “gringos” for having fought in World War II and in Vietnam for the U.S. Army. Giving up her husband and child was never going to happen. Not even when they came that one time, knelt her and put a gun to her temple. She spit in their faces and suggested they be scared of their own mothers, whom she knew very well (everyone knows each other and their business in Latin America). The commies never came back. I believe my grandmother kept her word and visited their mothers after all.
I am the daughter of a mother who did not finish 5th grade so she could work to help her mother raise and feed a family of nearly eight kids (grandma lost four along the way.) This petite, resilient, and selfless woman, sacrificed her own education to put her brothers and only sister through school, made sure they never lacked school supplies or uniforms, and that their refrigerator was stocked with fresh food. My mother became a successful business owner and had one of the most well-known beauty salons in Managua, servicing some of the wealthiest families in the city.
My name is Marianna Maguire. And these are the women I come from.
I am married to Stephen Anthony Maguire, Jr, my best friend, love of my life, a man of integrity and exceptional kindness, a selfless and devoted father, and the sole provider for his family (something we are greatly proud of). My husband’s parents are descendants of Irish and Polish immigrants who also fled turmoil and war in search of freedom, and whose family members similarly enlisted in our Armed Services and fought for Lady Liberty.
Freedom. What does it mean to you?
How do you teach others to love freedom and the country that provides it, before they lose it?
It is time to save America, fight for our freedoms, and fight for our children.
Socialism has no place in this country. Socialists don’t sleep, and neither shall we.