Even in the face of tremendous adversity, Venezuelan activists are not giving up.
In order to counter the official government narrative of the Nicolás Maduro administration, local libertarians have launched the Ludwig von Mises Institute Venezuela, a nonprofit educational NGO that aims to explain the roots of the country’s economic crisis.
Mises Venezuela, inspired by — but not officially affiliated with — the Alabama-based Ludwig von Mises Institute, plans to offer an alternative view on the problems of inflation and shortages. According to economist Willians Ruiz, the institute’s first executive director, the organization will set out to prove “socialism is a failure.”
The founders of the new think tank announced the opening of the institute during the For a Culture of Liberty forum on Saturday, August 15.
The institute aims to disseminate ideas based on the Austrian school of economics, which promotes free markets, individual choice, and non-intervention by the state in the economy.
Other classical-liberal organizations joined Mises Venezuela for their launch, including the Venezuelan chapter of Students for Liberty (EsLibertad), CEDICE Libertad, and the Carlos Rangel Open Course at the Central University of Venezuela.
Mises Venezuela was inspired by the Alabama-based Ludwig von Mises Institute, as well as several others by the same name around the world
Mises Venezuela was inspired by the Alabama-based Ludwig von Mises Institute, as well as several others by the same name around the world. (Mises Venezuela)
Mises Venezuela is the first Mises-inspired institute to have a physical presence in a Spanish-speaking country, while others like Mises Chile and Mises Colombia can be found only online.
However, Mises Institute headquarters can also be found in Brazil and across Europe.
According to Ruiz, the think tank will be based in the city of Valencia, the industrial capital of Venezuela. He says the city has taken up a vital role in the country due to the production slowdown caused by President Maduro.
“We launched this initiative because it is precisely in these difficult moments when we need to rise up and create this kind of endeavor to explain how socialism hurts the economy,” he says.
Champions of Economic Liberty
Ruíz tells the PanAm Post that Mises Venezuela seeks to provide a convincing alternative to economic interventionism, “unmasking” the economic policies that have sparked an enormous political and social crisis in the country.
“The creation of these institutes that promote libertarian ideas is important, especially because they offer a unique approach,” he says.
Mises Venezuela has already announced courses for curious Venezuelans to delve into the importance of free enterprise and economic liberty.
“Interventionist economic policies dominate the world,” Ruiz says. “The economy works better under free markets … each government intervention generates more distortions.”
According to Ruiz, Venezuela is a case study for the consequences of interventionism: shortages, recession, and loss of productivity.
He says Mises Venezuela will provide the knowledge, tools, and proposals for the country’s “situation to change and improve.”
Article originally appeared at Panamapost.com