Updated: Sep 19, 2021
Empty shelves and long lines at the supermarket… Incentives to report on your neighbors… Massive unemployment and economic uncertainty... In America, these are temporary symptoms of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is the everyday reality of life in socialist Venezuela.
Andrés and Jorge had to leave their lives in Venezuela after an oppressive regime crippled the economy, caused widespread starvation, blanketed the nation in blackouts, and silenced and jailed those who dared to speak out and criticize the government. With an eyewitness perspective, they answer the question: How did a country with so much wealth and promise completely collapse? Could it happen in other countries around the world? Their answer will surprise you!
Christian, lawyer, and freedom fighter – these are the words that define Jorge's life. Before socialism devastated his country, Jorge lived a life, not unlike that of middle-class Americans. But now, he is one of 4 million Venezuelans who have fled their country following its economic, social, and political collapse. Living under a socialist tyranny showed Jorge the dangers of letting the State grow. From a very young age, he has been speaking out about the very real damages caused by socialism and has made it his life’s mission to win the fight.
He was a member of Estudiantes por la Libertad (Students For Liberty Latin America), serving as a coordinator from 2015-16 and a senior leader from 2016-17. Today, he travels college campuses speaking out and sharing his story.
Andrés Guilarte is a political activist for the freedom of Venezuela. Only a few years ago, he was a university student, studying international relations at the Central University of Venezuela. On top of exams and typical college student concerns, Andrés’ studies were interrupted by tear gas as government officials targeted students on campus. He spent his college years advocating for his fellow students and fighting back against the rise of tyranny and erosion of freedoms.
He was a member of Estudiantes por la Libertad (Students For Liberty Latin America), serving as a coordinator from 2015-16 and a senior leader from 2016-17. In early 2019, he left Venezuela to intern with the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. Today, he continues to push back against the rise of government control by sharing his story.