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Season 6 - Episode 4
Venezuelan freedom activist

Daniel Di Martino is a Venezuelan freedom activist and economist. After fleeing Venezuela for the United States in 2016, he obtained a Bachelor of Arts with honors in Quantitative Economics from Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He is a Research Associate at the Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise at the University of Kentucky, and has written op-eds and articles for outlets such as USA Today, the Washington Times, and The Federalist.


At one time, Venezuela was a magnet for immigrants. In this sobering interview, Daniel Di Martino talks of his grandparents moving there from Italy and Spain, starting from nothing and building up a middle class life for themselves and their family. “It was the American dream in Venezuela, that’s what it was, through the 50s, 60s, up to the 70s.”

Today, after years of government intervention in the economy, the country is a disaster, with millions fleeing to find a better life elsewhere, as he himself did just a few years ago. “I got out because I knew from a very young age that I wanted to live in a place where I would have a chance to actually raise a family and live independently for myself, and I knew that, unfortunately, Venezuela was not that place.” Four million have fled in recent years, and some predict that number could soon rise as high as ten million.

Before he left, Daniel Di Martino says he could not fit enough money in his wallet to buy an empanada, so bad was the hyperinflation. Grocery store prices would rise 50% in a single week. It is a real humanitarian crisis, with people dying from lack of food or medicine, or perishing in the attempt to escape.

Of course, the United States is not without its problems, and the young activist has strong views when it comes to the costs of social democratic policies and the threats to free speech in his adopted country, for example. Still, he is grateful for the opportunities he has enjoyed, and knows that wherever the future takes him, he will continue the fight for freedom.

Links of interest

Daniel Di Martino / Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise