BY: – – AUG 22, 2014, 12:31 PM
Nelson Chartrand and Joisy García run the Anarcho-Capitalist Club of Cuba. With eight other members, they are focused on promoting the radical ideas of the philosophy on the island — a place where, as they describe, “everything is illegal.”
This is no easy task. Capitalism could not be further from the Cuban reality — private property is expressly forbidden as an individual right — and the totalitarian nature of the Fidelista state means anarchism is even more distant.
The Cuban regime’s decades of economic confinement have been bad enough, but repression of thought is also ever present, and it is only getting worse. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has blacklisted Cuba for “the level of threats, harassment, and acts of repudiation against human rights defenders in Cuba … particularly those involved in the defense of the rights of persons who have been deprived of liberty for political reasons,” among many other crimes (PDF, section 138).
However, the anarcho-capitalists haven’t given up after facing threats and aggression.
Chartrand can only access the internet once per week, through a connection provided by an embassy in Havana, but he graciously shared some of his precious online time with the PanAm Post and our readers.
What was the genesis of the Anarcho-Capitalist Club in Cuba? How did you find libertarian thought on an island where knowledge is so restricted?
The birth of the Anarcho-Capitalist Club of Cuba came after Joisy García, a friend of mine, received a couple of videos from a friend who lives abroad. They were videos that contained lectures by Jesús Huerta de Soto, among others, and this made us think about and immerse ourselves in this political philosophy. As Huerta de Soto correctly points out, it is the system truly compatible with human nature.
I believe every human being is, in essence, an anarcho-capitalist; we all wish for liberty, progress, and happiness.
That was when Joisy García proposed to me the idea of a club, with the objective of giving life to a new perspective on humanity, and to a people so thirsty for freedom and happiness. And here we are.