The Daily Signal: Daniel Di Martino about socialism and childhood in Venezuela

this is Kelsey bowler coming to you from the Heritage Foundation's Resource Bank I am sitting down today with Daniel DiMartino Daniel is from Venezuela grew up there and just came to the United States recently three years ago to attend college so we have a lot to get to Daniel welcome to the show thank you very much where to begin you grew up in Venezuela I imagine you still have a lot of family there tell us what your childhood was like yeah so I was born in 1999 so for you viewers to know in 1999 what's the year that who would Travis became president of it as well so I lived all my life doing the same regime basically and you know things taught us they started implementing these policies such as nationalization of private businesses price controls controlling what we could buy from our countries the country started progressively becoming less free so there were times where I didn't have milk at home there were times when we didn't have solid paper there were times where you know you couldn't find flour work things like that and increasingly it became worse and worse and we got to a situation where we're at what type of jobs did your family hold my parents owned a gas station so I don't know if you're familiar but gas in Venice was actually the cheapest in the world is basically free so and it is because the government's nationalized all of this but my parents were able to keep the gas station like all gas station owners but we had to be provided by the government gasoline so at the end because we couldn't make a profit by selling it because of the price cap the government had to print money to give us subsidies and basically keep us in business so it was a terrible unprofitable business like at this point it doesn't even give we couldn't even sell it it's just there standing without gasoline because now there's not even gasoline production that's what my parents did my mom then also started like a chocolate business so she purchased chocolate she made it into like bum buns and made them for parties it was very hard as well because since he was officially controlled the price of chocolate you can find chocolate and we're because the price cut by the governor was too low so we had to buy it controlled the price of chocolate yes chocolate everything you can imagine meat you know chicken milk chocolate paper housing rent absolutely everything at what age did you start to realize your country was on the wrong track so I think I was 12 and I was in my school I was I think in sixth grade and my library had a Hayek a book from Hayek the Road to Serfdom and they also had Friedman's free to choose book both in Spanish and I took them home from the library I asked him borrowed and that's when I started reading I'm like wow this is exactly what's going on in my country that the government is destroying our economy this is you know definitely what we need to change this is so simple now you understand at all and that's what led me to become you know conservative libertarian and how are you one of the lucky ones who got to attend college in the United States well I knew that I wanted to get out of it as well right and since I wanted to get out of it as well and I love the United States because of its culture of freedom it's not just about the economic and political freedom it's also about having a movement such as this you know there's so many people in this country like you like you know your viewers and everybody else in here this conference that love to spread the message about liberty and wants to protect their country so I wanted to come to America and what I did was that I preferred very hard to take the SAT to you know in my in my school the well structured curricular activities I apply to universities here and well I got a scholarship from my University that when I'm currently attending IUPUI Indiana University in Indianapolis and well I basically pay no tuition I got even more scholarships later to help me pay for my cost of living I work on campus as well and that's how I managed to get here and what is your perspective coming from Venezuela seeing the real effects of socialism and then going on college campus and seeing the number of students who are now saying in polls that they view socialism favorably and it's something they want to bring here yeah it's it was a shock initially because you know I come from a country where you know I had to leave because these policies were applied and you know you don't want those things to happen once you you've arrived somewhere else I know people who escaped from Cuba and went to Venezuela after escaping from the Castro regime and they had the bad luck that the same thing happened again and now they had to escape to another country and we definitely don't want that for America I think that most people who support these kinds of words like just vague words like socialism they don't really know what it means they just want free things you know I mean who doesn't want something for free the problem is that those things aren't free and we want also everybody to have good quality of life and the question is how to achieve that right and I think that if us you know people who are in favor of Liberty continue spreading the message that if we take away government's burden off people's backs if we allow people to actually prosper on their own and perhaps even have some some kind of help you know charity we have a lot of even current government programs that can be improved I think that we can definitely get overwhelming majority of Americans to agree with us what would you say to someone who says no I don't want the type of socialism that you see in Venezuela that's not real socialism I want more what you see in Denmark or one of the Nordic countries yeah well most of these Nordic countries and I think most people don't know it our ash or even more economically free than the United States and many of them don't even have minimum wages like that's something that I am sure the left currently would not agree with so if we wanted to become more like the Nordic countries then we will need to accept the trade-off right we see that in Europe unemployment is much higher than the United it's people earn much less there is less inequality of income there is also less prosperity so we either accept a society that can't prosper and that can be improved there's many things that can be done in the u.s. to improve you know criminal justice reform that is currently being done you can you know improve the tax system to make it simpler you can improve regulations so that it's not as burdensome for people but if we want to have a system in the Nordic countries have people who need to understand that it is not about taxing the rich dissever like 40 percent income taxes for the poor and 20 percent sales taxes that is unseen in the United States I don't think people are willing to pay what it would take to achieve that that is not even a better outcome so that kind of socialism is not real you know nationalization so it wouldn't be a disaster for the country but it would lead us to stagnation it wouldn't be the prosperity that we see today in America with low unemployment people you know more jobs available than unemployed and in the worst case scenario if you apply policies like the green New Deal like Medicare for all that would bankrupt this country you need to print money to pay for them like it's impossible to to pay for one hundred trillion dollars in ten years with taxes you have to bring money and that would be like Venezuela what is what is the monetary situation in Venezuela like how much cash do you have to carry to go get milk yeah so actually believe it or not there's a shortage of cash because the government is only printing the money online so now the most of the money is actually just like in bank accounts online I'm not you can't actually take it out from the bank in cash so if you don't have access to the banking system we don't even have access to cash so people are actually starting to use u.s. dollars to purchase in the streets it's it's crazy the situation you never think that you could have a shortage of money having so much money actually online printed it's a little complex but it all comes from the fact that when the government spends than it collects in revenue there's a deficit just like you in the US the US can cover that with debt but at some point international borrowers will not be willing to lend you money and that's what happened in Venezuela so because nobody's willing to lend the money for a long time ago then they had to print it and well that's what leadership – hyperinflation and this mystery I'm curious to hear more about the personal effects of socialism particularly in the last couple years where things have really heated up to the point that murderous regime is using tankers to run over protesters his own citizens in the streets so our people you know actually out there protesting what are the risks involved with that and what is the day-to-day life for your family they are they are thankfully my parents are not there but I still have uncles cousins a lot of you know friends in Venezuela but yes they are going to protest and they obviously want Maduro that is like 90% over 90% of the population agrees we don't want the socialist system in fact there are polls in Venezuela that say that over 80% of the population thinks that socialism is the worst economic system ever devised in history and you know you only say that once you go through it and we don't want you know we're humans we learn from each other and we don't have to go through that in America to learn that so yes before protesting there is search variable I have friends who have been kidnapped by the regime and they have been tortured there's videos online that people can look themselves up and it's it's a very sad situation and it's something that it's so so while it looks complex for people because they see you know if all these people are against the regime why doesn't the dictatorship form and I guess that your viewers you know they of course wonder that and the reason is that even if you have all the civilian population United when you have a military that is armed against them that is loyal to a dictator because they are they get the drug money from cocaine trafficking but it comes to the United States by the way or they have the Cuban spies that control them and therefore they can't who against my daughter then there's no way for us to fight back me as well as on armed will have a second amendment so right a lot of people don't know the history of that how long ago was it that they actually ban citizens from owning guns around the meet 2010's around that time during remember its specific year but it was recent that they banned completely gun ownership we never had a full second Amendment either that was never in our Constitution that was there a part of our culture but we did have the possibility of people to purchase weapons legally through licenses and that was something that was completely taken out of the table several years ago and it's part of why now only criminals and the military own weapons and I'm talking about like high you know caliber Russian weapons that they bring on purpose to kill civilians so it's a it's it's complex but at the same time it's complex the solution not so much the problem the problem is simple socialism and government power well you clearly have a very bright future ahead of you I'm curious what do you hope to do here do you plan to stay in the United States do you want to return to Venezuela hopefully what will be a better situation than it is now yeah so I love being in the United States so I love to stay even as I work to obtain freedom which is my goal of course I love to go there as well but as of now my plan is to you know be in the US and fighting especially advocating for for freedom in Venezuela I'm currently with two organizations and with Young Voices which is a nonprofit that helps young people and myself to spread the word of Liberty in the media so that's how I've been able to be in Fox News CNN and be to you know write articles for different news media outlets and at the same time I'm spokesman for Ventura Venezuela which is a political party in Venezuela the main Conservative Party their libertarian party we focused mainly on economic issues rather than social because that's you know most of our problems in Venezuela and you know we're really pushing to obtain help from other countries because we know that we can't do it alone since we're on armed so our goal is to obtain freedom for a country whichever way possible because otherwise you know we're talking about a huge humanitarian crisis and we don't want to know their genocide to happen not even in our hemisphere Daniel you have such an important perspective particularly for this time period right now for anyone listening where can they go to follow your work yeah so you can follow me on Twitter that is at Daniel DiMartino yes my name on my last name I finally Martina you can follow me on Facebook crush Mia's friend looked me up in my website Daniel D Martina come you can show my media appearances you can contact me by email over there and yeah I'm always happy to talk to anybody about anything they want about Venezuela about socialism or what economic policy in general I'm always willing to have a conversation or take an opportunity well thank you for joining us we wish you and your home country and the best you are all in our prayers thank you

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