Recently, the Mises-Mambi Institute provided a small grant to three young Venezuelan dissident activists to help them attend Cato University in Quito, Ecuador. They are María Oropeza, Bárbara Briceño, and Elías Tovar of the dissident party Vente Venezuela, also part of the I Am Venezuela Alliance (Alianza Soy Venezuela). Their stay in Ecuador started off with a special tour of Ecuador’s National Assembly, courtesy of Assemblyman Juan Fernando Flores!
Then began the intensive five-day conference and seminar, where these three young freedom fighters learned about applied freedom from minds like Martín Krause, Axel Kaiser, and Juan Carlos Hidalgo.
Maria Oropeza, who’s the National Youth Cordinator for Vente, said the following about the experience:
“Cato University was a great experience that undoubtedly deserves to be shared and replicated. Sometimes we think that we are alone in the defenses of these ideas, which do work, and in these meetings you realize that in every corner of the region there are parties, organizations, movements and individuals working to promote and defend those ideas.
Once again, the socialist regime of Venezuela is the example of what should not be copied, but Venezuelans were and continue to be an example of what should be extolled: resistance, strength and perseverance.
Thanks to the Cato Institute and to Quito for reminding me of the reasons why I’m still in my country, why I’m still holding and why I am convinced that we are going to succeed; and triumph does not mean only when we get out of tyranny, we will triumph when our ideas come to power and bring changes and prosperity to our people.
My conclusion and final reflection are the following, from Ian Vásquez, director of the Institute: “Let’s not tire of talking about freedom. We should always do it as if it were the first time. Do not think about the immediate effects, let’s think about the future. The investment we make today will be the tomorrow’s results.”
I’m a classical liberal for the long haul!
Photos courtesy of the Cato Institute in Ecuador (except for the last).