Understanding and defending freedom
We recently had the pleasure of celebrating freedom through the presentation of the winners of the sixth Caminos de la Libertad essay contest. We were accompanied by a great novelist, thinker and living example of the idea of freedom, Mario Vargas Llosa.
It’s easy to think that freedom is only part of our political or economic values, and there’s no doubt that it is an important part of both. In politics, freedom leads us to defend the independence of our nations, and provides us with the capacity to make decisions without waiting for orders from a ruler who is distant and ignorant of our problems.
In economics, freedom allows us to make decisions without waiting for orders from a ruler who would like to take advantage of the fruits of our labor or our investment without contributing anything in return.
Freedom is also very important for practical reasons. Historical economics shows us that the most prosperous nations are those that most respect freedom. Without freedom to invest, operate a business, or even to fail, there is no material progress.
Understanding, building and defending freedom is our responsibility as citizens, which is why we have devoted special attention to this project that is already transcending borders.
Caminos de la Libertad, which could translate to Paths to Freedom, was created so that “Freedom” can acquire a tangible meaning for everyone. You can’t love what you don’t know.
And our work doesn’t end here. As citizens, we need to be much more active in defending our rights and freedoms to avoid them being slowly eroded.
In this regard, Vargas Llosa is an indisputable example of a life dedicated to this fundamental value. Through his novels, political thought, and action, Vargas Llosa has been an important voice of freedom and democracy in Latin America. For this reason we presented to him the "Una Vida por la Libertad" award.
We can’t sit back and wait for politicians to "generously" decide to preserve our freedoms. History tells us that freedom must be understood, built, and defended.