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Students For Liberty Venezuelan Local Coordinator and a Fermín Toro University political student Luis Torrealba has long been interested in promoting the ideas of liberty in authoritarian regimes. Luis frequently hosts events on public state university campuses to spread the word about classical liberal values and the philosophy of Objectivism. Besides that, the recently launched Hub Education First Program he developed together with Youth and Democracy in the Americas is now helping bring the ideas of liberty to children in one of the rural Venezuelan communities.

Luis’s traumatic experience with government expropriations his family underwent when he was just a child growing up on a farm made him strongly support private property rights and despise state interventions. The government took title to their land but “allowed” them to continue to farm it. Left in limbo, his family could never be sure that they could reap the benefits of the effort they put into working their farm. The feeling of utter distrust toward the Venezuelan government only solidified with the chronic shortages of essential goods due to strict price controls and violent repressions of peaceful protesters.   

Having suffered through the tragedy of collectivism, Luis believes it is imperative for young people living under a dictatorship to broaden their horizons and open up to libertarian solutions that can eventually overthrow the authoritarian regime. His life-long goal is to make sure the next generations learn the ideas of liberty and fight for freedom in his home country.

The Hub Education First Program Luis developed in collaboration with Youth and Democracy in the Americas, an organization sponsored by the Organization of American States, is an excellent step toward making our world a better place. It was specifically created to teach liberty to children between the ages of 12 and 18 in Yacurito, a rural community in the Portuguesa State of Venezuela. “The project’s main aim is to make kids understand through the ideas of liberty the natural desire to be free and happy individuals,” he says.

The program included various topics, such as the philosophy of Objectivism, authoritarianism, property rights, and freedom of expression. Luis and his team applied creative educational methodologies capable of engaging students in interactive, enjoyable learning. For instance, George Orwell’s Animal Farm movie showing and a discussion afterward were a huge success.

“I think that every day the world is more aware of the importance of liberty for the development of society. Every day, people are more jealous of their right to choose and develop their lives in their way, and they see governments with a more critical eye. I believe that if we do things right, in the future, we will be able to enjoy greater freedom to develop our lives and build a path toward individual happiness. In the same way, I am sure that in the future, we will be able to overcome the things that today threaten liberty,” concludes Luis.

In Luis’s opinion, growing a network of liberty-minded people is the key to success. He believes Students For Liberty has significantly contributed to his endeavors and given him the needed education, support, and community of activists willing to make a difference. The inspiration and training Luis received at SFL helped him set big goals for the future and start his journey knowing that SFL has always been and will always be there for him. 

In the years to come, Luis will be working in agribusiness, contributing to the family business’s development. He will focus on integrating and innovating new technologies within agribusiness and ensuring he does everything possible to prevent the Venezuelan government from eliminating all property rights over agricultural land ever again. Luis will keep spreading the ideas of liberty in schools, colleges, and on university campuses so that the next generation does not repeat the mistakes of their predecessors and lives a free and joyful life.

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