HARTSVILLE, S.C. — The flight against socialism and communism is personal for one person seeking the congressional seat currently held by Republican Tom Rice.
Barbara Arthur, a Cuban American Christian speaker, homeschool mom and insurance agent living in Hartsville, announced her campaign for the Republican nomination for the seat Monday afternoon. Arthur said in a Monday afternoon announcement that she was running to protect “our Christian liberties” and American heritage. She added that no one in the District 7 race would fight harder against socialism than she would because for her, it’s personal.
“As a Cuban-American, our freedom is especially important to me,” Arthur continued. “My family was ravaged by Castro’s communist regime. He took power as a socialist but within no time he exposed his totalitarian claws.”
Fidel Castro came to power in early 1959. Although he was a committed Marxist or socialist, Castro spent the first few months of his administration denying that he was either. However, his decisions appointing Che Guevara to head the country’s central bank and agreeing to a deal with the Soviet Union led to strained and, eventually, broken relations with the United States. Gradually, his regime became more totalitarian.
Arthur said she immigrated, legally, to the United States in 1969. She said that her father, two of her siblings, and her came to the United States on a Freedom Flight that her father applied for in 1966.
The Freedom Flights were established by Lyndon Johnson’s administration in 1965 with the cooperation of the regime of Fidel Castro. The Castro regime did not like the appearance of its citizens riding boats of any shape to escape their rule and the Johnson administration felt there needed to be a safer alternative for Cubans looking to leave their country. The flights continued from then until 1973, transporting around 300,000 Cubans to South Florida.
Arthur said she met her husband, Warren, in Fort Lauderdale in the 1980s. She followed him to his hometown of Hartsville. Warren previously served on the Public Service Commission, in the administration of Gov. Carroll Campbell Jr., in the South Carolina House of Representatives and on the Hartsville City Council. He also ran for a state Senate seat twice.
“Communism is not at our door, it’s in the house — the White House,” Arthur said. “Right now, in America, it’s not politics as usual.”
During the presidential campaign, one of the criticisms from the left wing of the Democratic Party was that Biden was too centrist in his policy proposals.
She said Monday afternoon that Rice’s vote in favor of a resolution to impeach Donald Trump was the last straw for her.
Rice was one of 10 House Republicans to vote in favor a resolution to impeach Trump one week after protestors invaded the Capitol building on Jan. 6.
“I have never had political ambition, but I realize if we want to make changes we must be at the table,” Arthur said. “President Trump fiercely protected our Constitution and our freedom. Because of his zeal for America, he revived American pride, stirred patriotic hearts, and lit a flame that I will strive to keep alive. For me, it’s personal.”
Arthur added that, as a legal immigrant, she was especially frustrated by the situation at the southern border.
“My family went through a three-year struggle to get our visas,” she said. “President Trump’s policies on immigration are what our country needs right now. I will work tirelessly to reenact those policies.”