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A Personal Matter

Thor Halvorssen has lived a difficult life. Born in Venezuela, he has experienced oppression directly and understands toll it can have on people. Over the years, he has seen family members arrested fo speaking out against the Venezuelan government including his cousins and his father. A particularly heinous act was committed against Halvorssen when he witnessed the death of his mother, Hilda Mendoza, at the hands of supporters of the Hugo Chavez regime. Halvorssen wants to make sure this oppression comes to an end, and here’s how he plants to do it.11)

Spreading The Message

As a political activist, Halvorssen’s most successful efforts are placed towards encouraging others to take action against oppression. Even the most vicious dictatorship cannot exist without the will of the people on some level. To encourage people to stand up to their own governments, he frequently produces documentaries displaying the shady behavior common in many oppressive governments. This activism has even endangered his life at times, such as his trip to Vietnam that ended in an arrest. Eventually, Halvorssen was able to convince the authorities to release him.

Connecting The World

Fighting oppression is an inherently global process. Oppressed people cannot create open societies without the help of those who already live in open societies. To help bring awareness to those living in the developed world, Halvorssen created the Human Rights Foundation. The Human Rights Foundation often accomplishes its goals by serving as an advocate for those who have fallen victim to dictatorships. A recent example of this was the organization’s support for political prisoners in Venezuela. Halvorssen made sure their names were released to the general public and has gathered support for their plight from abroad.

Taking One For The Team

The success of Halvorssen’s activism comes at a personal cost. He has experienced backlash from some authoritarian regimes for the efforts he put forth to fight them. Despite this backlash, he refuses to stop fighting for the people who need him. He understands all too well what happens when no one takes a stand.


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