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The following is a statement from SFL’s regional body for Spanish-speaking Latin America, Estudiantes por la Libertad (you can read the Spanish version here). In support of all Venezuelan political detainees, we’ve revived the #PorUnaVenezuelaLibre campaign. Click here to learn how you can help

vzlaEstudiantes por la Libertad expresses its profound concern for the arbitrary detainment of the award-winning Venezuelan activist Yon Goicoechea, who was violently intercepted by armed officers while driving around Caracas on the morning of Monday, August 29th. With great concern, we stand with every person who has been arbitrarily detained in Venezuela and we call call on the government to respect the individual liberties of all Venezuelans.

Every member of Estudiantes por la Libertad:

  • Denounces the high rates of repression that have characterized Venezuela in recent years, where there are more than 90 political prisoners facing tainted legal processes (according to different international organizations).
  • Condemns the censorship of information about  the detentions; detainees spend days without their rightful calls and meetings with their lawyers and family, as well as the excessive use of “preventive detainment” without valid cause.
  • Rejects the threats through public media and the persecution of those who think differently.
  • Makes a call for tolerance and the respect of individual liberties to rule in Venezuela. This is a rich nation with a talented citizenry  and they should have the liberty to maximize their potential. We call on the government to trust them in their ventures and capabilities, without seeing them as an enemy; after all, this is what makes a country prosperous and peaceful.
  • Declares him or herself vigilant against Yon Goicoechea’s detainment, as well as every other person who has been arbitrarily stripped of their liberty. We call on international public opinion and other pro-liberty organizations to stand with them and demand their immediate release.

Context: 

yon-goicoechea-150x150In 2007, when the Venezuelan government decided to shut down RCTV, the oldest, most popular TV channel in the country, Yon Goicoechea, along with other young people, lead peaceful protests to prevent the implementation of the measure – which represented a great violation of freedom of expression in Venezuela.

For his struggle to defend these civil and political liberties he was honored with the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize. After this, Yon decided to leave the country, returning only in 2016 to join the opposition leadership in a much more hostile environment than 2007.

Yon remains unconstitutionally barred from communication since his detention on Monday, August 29th. His family and lawyers have no information regarding his health, whereabouts, or the conditions he is being kept in. This represents a grave abuse of due process, his liberty, and his personal integrity.

#LiberenAYon #FreeYon #PorUnaVenezuelaLibre

Latin America, August 31st, 2016

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After Venezuelan activist and long-time friend of SFL, Yon Goicoechea, was kidnapped by agents of the Venezuelan government, yon2we asked the global liberty community to help us #FreeYon by sharing the hashtag and starting a petition for Yon’s release.

Now we’ve revived the #PorUnaVenezuelaLibre campaign because the problem is much larger than just one activist. There are as many as 90 people being detained in secret for political reasons in the country today. And with more unrest sure to come, its important now to call for their safe release.

Here’s the statement from EsLibertad if you haven’t read it yet.

Now, we need your help.

Please join Students For Liberty in calling on the U.S. government and the international human rights community to put pressure on Venezuela to free Yon Goicoechea. You can help us by:

  • Sharing an image or video message of yourself like those below with a sign, maybe a Venezuelan flag, and the hashtags #PorUnaVenezuela and #FreeYon/#LiberenAYon. Please include your name (first is okay), your country, the hashtags, and a message of support for the Venezuelan political prisoners.
  • Adding this filter to your Facebook or Twitter profile.
  • Signing the petition to #FreeYon.
  • Supporting Students For Liberty’s efforts in Latin America and beyond.



Yon’s involvement with SFL goes almost back to our origins. In addition to aiding our efforts in Latin America, Yon was our keynote speaker for the Second Annual ISFLC where he spoke on his experience leading the youth movement for freedom in Venezuela. At the time he was only 23 and still a law student. Already, he had achieved more than most of us ever will. We won’t rest until he’s free to continue this critical work for many years to come. 

yon2On Tuesday, we announced that long-time friend of SFL and dedicated freedom activist Yon Goicoechea had been kidnapped by the Venezuelan government. We asked you to help us in calling for his release with the hashtag #FreeYon and by signing our petition in support of his release without harm.

While we’ve not yet received any new information about his status or whereabouts, we remain hopeful and are buoyed by the outpouring of support over these past few days. So far, the hashtag #FreeYon has reached over 1 million social media users and generated nearly 700 posts calling for his freedom.

The petition for his release has spread rapidly as well and shows just how many around the world still value freedom and justice. After quickly reaching our initial goal of 1,000 signatures, we’re continuing to receive signatures and messages of support from liberty activists and concerned humanitarians all over the world. Some included pointed messages for the Venezuelan regime:

Socialismo = dictatura, miseria” – From Diddier F. in Spain

[R]elease this man, it is time for you to realise that harming him will bring on civil riots and warring, do not do this, please allow the people of Venezuela to have a right to choose democratic government and let go of your desperate desire for wealth and power.” – From Bishop Gabrielle C. in Australia

Drop all charges and free Yon Goicoechea!!” – From Gord S. in Canada

Yon is not alone. As our colleagues in Latin America reminded us on Wednesday, many more have been detained in recent weeks as conditions worsened throughout the country. And with civil unrest at an all-time-high, we expect he will not be the last. It is crucial that we continue to pressure the Venezuelan government to release not only Yon, but all political prisoners currently being detained.

10003199_10152295610590180_1833336797_nToday, we remember how serious the fight for freedom truly is. As our leaders in Latin America prepare for another year of activism, they are not only fighting for free speech or personal choice but, in many cases, fighting for the very right to life.

Students For Liberty has, for many years, made a point of standing up to authoritarian regimes wherever they’re found. We hope that the Venezuelan people will be the victors in the current struggle for the future of the country.

We invite you to express support in any way you can.

The following is a message from our friends at Praxis

Have you had an incredible summer internship at a liberty-advancing nonprofit? Have you loved meeting your intellectual role models at ISFLC, YALCon, and FreedomFest? Do you feel like you’re doing more for your career when you publish articles, impress your bosses, or organize a stellar Regional Conference?Praxis_break_the_mold_logo_vertical

You’re not the only one. College isn’t the right choice for everyone, and sometimes a gap year is just what you need to get focused on what you want to do long-term.

Breaking the “conveyor belt” mindset is something we’re all prone to do, as libertarians. We tend to approach new ideas with a mix of intrigue and skepticism. We love to play around with concepts others might find crazy, and we like to challenge the status quo. Why not do that with college?

Praxis, an educational apprenticeship program created by Isaac Morehouse, has been a popular option amongst SFLers. It’s a nine month entrepreneurial bootcamp and apprenticeship experience that completely rethinks the traditional college path, focusing on value creation and personal development above increasingly-irrelevant credentials. (more…)

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Our latest quarterly report is filled with inspiring stories of activism from around the world, as well as other highlights from what has been a busy and exciting summer at Students For Liberty.

In our Summer 2016 Quarterly Report, you’ll find:

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  • A special report on our #NoNanny lifestyle freedom campaign that’s taking the world by storm and has already generated over 150 news stories in Canada alone,
  • Linda Kavuka, Chairperson of African SFL (ASFL), discussing how they empowered over 100 people in one day at the East African Regional Conference,
  • An interview with SFL alumnus Leo Plumer on how and why he created a new free market think-tank in Canada,
  • Information on our new music video “The Day The GOP Died,” recorded and performed at a Republican National Convention afterparty by SFL and Free the People.
  • Why prominent businessman Steve Forbes supports SFL’s mission.

In North America, we’re looking forward to reporting on the successes of this year’s Campus Coordinators. You can hear about the ideas and plans for the upcoming year by reading our report on their weekend retreat.

Read our latest Quarterly Report now!