An Open Letter to Oliver Stone

EsLibertad Leaders: Espousing Populism Is One Thing; Living It Is Another

EspañolDear Mr. Stone:

Your participation as a speaker in the 2014 International Students for Liberty Conference, given your long record of support for repressive governments in Latin America and your close ties with some of its authoritarian leaders, such as Hugo Chávez and Nicolás Maduro, has become a matter of concern for us, young Latin-American liberals.

We appreciate your forceful stance condemning the imperial overreach of the surveillance state in the United States, which sacrifices individual liberties in the name of security. On this topic, though, we question whether your stance is limited to your country’s borders. It is evident that, as young Latin Americans who suffer the consequences of the populist and power-abusive dictatorships you so clearly and openly support, we may have a different concept of state overreach altogether.

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It is easy to praise the benefits of populism when one does not have to endure its negative consequences day after day. It is understandable that you preach these ideals when you don’t face the public policies that perpetuate impunity and systematic violence. It is easy to crusade for socialism when you do not suffer the struggles many Latin Americans go through every day in search for food, the long lines in supermarkets to secure the most basic consumer products — not to mention skyrocketing inflation and other perils that socialism imposes on individuals who would otherwise just peacefully carry on with their lives.

It is not difficult to praise the welfare state when the consequences of rampant public spending don’t burden your shoulders, or to befriend dictators when the victims of their violence are strangers to you. Those strangers are our brothers and sisters, our friends and neighbors, suffering under repressive abuses of power. Defending characters like Fidel Castro or Hugo Chávez, as you clearly do in your body of work and public statements, is safe when you know that your private property and the fruits of your labor will not be exploited by the politicians in charge.

The effects of statism hurt Latin-American families day after day, but you espouse the ideas of Hugo Chávez’s “21st Century Socialism.” All the while, you are free to plan for your future and that of your close relatives in a climate of stability and in a country that does not become poorer on account of the moral and material bankruptcy imposed by failed policies. Many young Latin Americans do not enjoy such luxuries and have been forced to leave their friends and families in search of a safer, more prosperous future somewhere else.

For these reasons, in the name of all the individuals who suffer the atrocities of Latin-American populist dictatorships, we felt compelled to deliver this message. We have vowed to defend liberty consistently, even amidst one of Latin America’s darkest nights. Therefore we ask again, Mr. Stone, what is your concept of freedom?

We believe respect, tolerance, and open debates strengthen free and responsible societies. As libertarians and classical liberals, we ascribe to the notion that liberalism finds its roots in tolerance for people’s life projects and their ideas in its broadest levels of diversity. For this reason, on this day that you join us as a speaker in the International Students for Liberty Conference, we would like to share our experiences with you, to illustrate the violence that our governments promote and in the case of Venezuela, openly practice.

Perhaps then you will understand that situations “south of the border” are very different from those portrayed in your documentaries and other propaganda. We would like to publicly convey our utter disagreement with your support towards governments that restrict liberties in our side of the continent. Fortunately, and paradoxically, you will be able to express your opinions freely, even as you support governments that silence everyone who thinks differently.

Attentively,

Humberto Rotondo, Peru
Antonella S. Marty, Argentina
Gabriel Salas, Venezuela

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17 comments
Gabriel_Salas
Gabriel_Salas

@sarita_serfaty hola Sara! Si, es parte del trabajo que vengo haciendo por la promoción de las ideas de libertad. Un abrazo.

Omarsdemocracy
Omarsdemocracy

The country with the real imperialist ambitions in the Western Hemisphere is Communist Cuba. I am sick of Communist Cuba destroying the Western Hemisphere and blaming it on the United States. Communist Cuba is the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the Western Hemisphere. I call for regime change in Cuba. Communist Cuba is the modern-day King Philip II's Spain and it must be defeated in order to restore democracy in the Western Hemisphere. Down with Communism!

Michael Manfred
Michael Manfred

Good luck appealing to the sensibilities of a limousine liberal.   Hopefully Stone will rise above that image.

Emmanuel Martin
Emmanuel Martin

A very intelligent, courageous and needed "open letter". Thank you for your work.

giveusfree
giveusfree

Ya' all need not worry as it's getting more and more like that here too as our Republic continues to crumble into full-blown tyranny! Amerika is decaying from the inside out and DC (like Hollywood) is infected with socialists as big bankers extort her wealth, land, resources, and finally, HUMAN  "resources!"These hollywood celebrities and rock stars like Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Beyonce etc. become foolish mouthpieces for the liars and prostitutes in the two party dictatorship in DC and the dictator POTUS Obama! I have been saving thousands NOT seeing their films or purchasing their latest music. I vote with my pocket! They can sit in their ivory towers secure in their wealth supporting the criminals in DC and spouting communist propaganda all they want but my money will no longer be supporting their high-on-the-hog extravagant lifestyles! As soon as I discover one of these brainless celebs (that have obviously never read our Constitution, taken a civics class,  nor understand basic economics) are PRO- big government, socialists/statists and want to surrender our rights to these usurpers of freedom I OUT THEIR gluttonous asses to all my friends and family that have to work harder and harder for less and less because the state has "sent hither swarms of officers to eat out our substance" while they promote and agree with them!!!  Boycott Hollywood! Boycott any celeb that supports oppressive regimes too! Especially the Obama regime!!!


Dave Hill
Dave Hill

Hollywood millionaires who support communism-how ridiculous these people are!

Omarsdemocracy
Omarsdemocracy

@joeboxell @kurt_loder@AndrewKirell Yeah right. You are a Stalinist/Maoist puppet paid by the Communist dictatorship in Cuba to spread lies and propaganda against the United States. The reality is that your beloved Cuban dictatorship has established a new empire in the Western Hemisphere, creating client-states like the one in Venezuela. The Castro brothers are the modern-day King Philip II of Spain and the Cuban military is the modern-day Spanish Armada. We have had enough of your Stalinist/Maoist propaganda. Down with Communism! Democracy for everyone!

seanlovesliberty
seanlovesliberty

@sanford943 he basically called the students terrorists to their faces and said that there "was a legal way to do things". I was really uncomfortable...Scahill tried to clean it up but he had already insulted them.

Omarsdemocracy
Omarsdemocracy

@JustinRaimondo @WilliamFreeland@TheOliverStone@sfliberty Shut up, Raimondo. Why don't you tell the puppet government of Venezuela and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere to stop hanging around and taking orders from the Cuban DGI? I am sick of your Stalinist/Maoist propaganda against the United States. I will scream "Down with Communism! Abajo la dictadura Castrista!" End Cuban imperialism in the Western Hemisphere.