Saturday, April 26, 2008

Winner of the 2008 Milton Friedman - Yon Goicoechea - Venezuelan

Yon is a 23 year old student fighting against Chavez. He is going to school to be a lawyer. Thanks Yon for loving our country!!!! You are just amazing!!! You way to talk make the people want to listen to you. You are everything Chavez is not: you are intelligent, handsome, good manners, fighting to have a better country, going to have your lawyer degree.........
I also want to say that there are other students that are also great, they are: Stanlin Gonzalez, Freddy Guevara, Geraldine Alvarez, etc.

vdebate reporter

Winner of the 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty

Sent: Friday, April 25, 2008 7:05 AMTo:

Subject: Winner of the 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty
I’m writing to let you know that the recipient of the 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty is Yon Goicoechea, leader of the pro-democracy student movement in Venezuela. Under Goicoechea's leadership, the student movement organized mass opposition to the erosion of human and civil rights in Venezuela and played the key role in recently defeating Hugo Chávez's bid for a constitutional reform that would have turned the country into a dictatorship. For more information about Yon Goicoechea and the student movement, please visit our website at,z5ff,1u46,aihw,4qf,gl5d,4iky
Yon Goicoechea will be awarded the Prize on Thursday, May 15 at the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty Biennial Dinner at the Waldorf - Astoria Hotel in New York City. To attend the Milton Friedman Prize Award Dinner, please register online at,z5ff,1u46,d9g7,fr4d,gl5d,4iky or call 202-218-4606.
We are expecting it to be a terrific affair with featured guests including Rose Friedman; CEO of FedEx, Fred Smith; and Mary O’Grady of The Wall Street Journal.
We look forward to hearing from you and hope to see you at the Dinner.
Yana Vinnikov
Cato Institute 202-218-4617

Venezuelan Student Movement Leader Awarded$500,000
Milton Friedman Liberty Prize
Washington, D.C.
The Cato Institute has announced that Yon Goicoechea, leader of the pro-democracy student movement in Venezuela that successfully prevented President Hugo Chávez’s regime from seizing broad dictatorial powers in December 2007, has been awarded the 2008 Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.
A 23-year-old law student, Mr. Goicoechea plays a pivotal role in organizing and voicing opposition to the erosion of human and civil rights in his country. In his commitment to a modern Venezuela, Goicoechea emphasizes tolerance and the human right to seek prosperity.
Venezuela’s student movement emerged in May of 2007 in response to a government-ordered shutdown of the nation’s oldest private television station, RCTV. In the face of ongoing death threats and continual intimidation due to his prominent and vocal leadership, Mr. Goicoechea has been indispensible in organizing massive, peaceful student protest marches that have captured the world’s attention.
By December of 2007, the student movement was credited with defeating a proposed constitutional reform that would have concentrated unprecedented political and economic power in the hands of the government.
“Yon Goicoechea is making an extraordinary contribution to liberty,” said Edward Crane, President of the Cato Institute. “We hope the Friedman Prize will help further his non-violent advocacy for basic freedoms in an increasingly militaristic and anti-democratic Venezuela.”
Renowned Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa remarked, “Freedom and complacency are incompatible and this is what we are seeing now in countries like Venezuela where freedom is disappearing little by little, and this has produced a very healthy and idealistic reaction among young people. I think Yon Goicoechea is a symbol of this democratic reaction when freedom is threatened.”
Established in 2002 and presented every two years, the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty is the leading international award for significant contributions to advancing individual liberty. The Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman passed away in November of 2006.
The Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty's Biennial Dinner and award presentation will be held at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City on May 15, 2008.
Yon Goicoechea is a fifth year law student at Universidad Católica Andrés Bello. He was chosen to receive the award from a public, worldwide nomination process. The members of the 2008 International Selection Committee are:
Kakha Bendukidze– Head of the Chancellery, Republic of Georgia
Edward H. Crane – President, Cato Institute
Francisco Gil Díaz – Former Minister of Finance, Mexico
Rose D. Friedman – Co-Founder, Milton and Rose D. Friedman Foundation for School Choice
Karen Horn – Director, Berlin Office, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft (Germany)
Charles G. Koch – Chairman and CEO, Koch Industries Inc.
Andrew Mwenda – Research Fellow, Advocates Coalition for Development (Uganda)
Mary Anastasia O’Grady – Member, Editorial Board, The Wall Street Journal
Fareed Zakaria – Editor, Newsweek International
Cato Institute1000 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20001

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Venezuelan Student in Washington - Geraldine Alvarez

For release at will

Press advisory: Venezuelan Students seeking to protect Freedom of Expression and other Civil Liberties will discuss deterioration of democracy in Venezuela

Sponsored by: The National Press Club Newsmaker Committee
Friday, June 29, 9:00-10:30 AM

Contact: Carla Bustillos, Cell phone: (202) 415-2370; Alt cell phone: (202) 277-6627. E-mail

Geraldine Alvarez, a student from the Universidad Católica Andres Bello and one of the leaders of the Venezuelan Students Movement, will address at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW. Washington, DC 20045, Friday, June 29, 9:00-10:30 AM, the progressive erosion of civil liberties in Venezuela and will explain the objectives of the student movement that has taken the lead in the struggle to counteract the government's efforts to limit free speech, the right to protest and University autonomy. The student movement she represents was galvanized by the recent unlawful closure of the country's oldest and most watched TV station: Radio Caracas Television (RCTV).
Ms. Alvarez's presentation will be complemented by observations made by experts in the fields of human rights, Latin American politics and academia who will provide additional details of the current state of Democracy and Human Rights in the country.
· Thor Halvorssen, President of Human Rights Foundation, who will speak on the works of his organization covering cases in Venezuela where individuals have been persecuted and jailed for expressing their views or exercising their rights to free speech.
· Roberto Izurieta (TBC), Director of Latin American Projects for The Graduate School of Political Management, The George Washington University, who will give a scholar analysis on the situation of freedom of expression, academic freedom and overall democracy in Venezuela.

This event will be sponsored by the National Press Club Newsmaker Committee with the coordination of Lucha Democrática. Moderating the panel will be Peter J Hickman of NPC. Carla Bustillos from Lucha Democrática (Restore Democracy) and Venezuelan Students Abroad-Washington, D.C. will give opening remarks and panel introduction. Lucha Democrática is an organization established in 2001 by Venezuelan citizens residing or studying in the Washington, DC area, to highlight Governmental abuse and threats to Venezuelan democracy.

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