Hello and welcome to Anarchast, this episode will be completely in spanish because I’m in Cuba with Nelson Chartrand an anarcho-capitalist there are not many here, but he’s one it is a little dangerous truly, to talk about these topics in Cuba but we’re not afraid of anything because we have the right to do it, and because it is true and obviously we will have english subtitles below for everyone but first, Nelson thank you very much for doing this and the first thing I always ask is how did you become an anarcho-capitalist? well, I have stated on other ocassions I think all human beings are potential anarcho-capitalists because anarcho-capitalism, as it was rightly posed by Jesús Huerta de Soto to take one example is the social system and the philosophy of thinking which suits human nature the most The human being is freedom The human being needs to be recognized as a central pillar of society And the human being needs private property, his own things. That’s why I think all human beings are essentially anarcho-capitalists. Now, I got to know the term anarcho-capitalism coincidentally Back in 2014 I say coincidentally because my friend Joisy, Joisy García Received some conferences by Jesús Huertas de Soto, recieved some books by Friedrich Hayek And we started to get to know better and deepen our knowledge on that philosophy of thinking We were fascinated, then the idea of founding the Cuban anarcho-capitalist club was born Very well Cuba is very a very interesting place for people who don’t know Cuba very much There is almost no internet here, hardly anyone has smartphones… nothing Because it is very communist For example you said: “I have internet on Tuesdays for an hour”
-two hours, yes When I have it I am very happy. Because of my controversial stance, my opposition to the dictatorship, because that’s what this is I have two hours of internet provided for free by the Embassy of the Czech Republic And two hours provided every week by the Embassy of Sweden. That’s crazy The thing is, I went to Cuba about 8 years ago
and the situation was really, really bad
12 years ago it was a little bit better And this time I saw everything just a little bit better
There’s a bit more freedom Do you think things are changing here? Or not? I’m going to tell you what I think I think while there is such a centralized government, such a totalitarian government Like the one there is here in Cuba
The only thing local people can receive is just crumbs Because there is no freedom The people, the human being, the individual does not have freedom to make a living according to its capabilities, its talent The small private properties here…
…to me those aren’t truly private properties Those are simply a notion of what a private property can be It is a business that you may have, you have the opportunity to do it but for me that’s private in quotation marks The people of Cuba, the individual, the Cuban citizen cannot create a business cannot choose, cannot choose what to do with the fruit of his labor Precisely because of that, because he can’t have private businesses, because he does not have that right The right to be free in that sense, therefore everything that’s done in the country while everything is centralized
while the monopoly of foreign commerce is in hands of an elite Because it is certainly a governing elite I think you can probably come and go, and the next year you notice some changes but that’s not going to solve our problems we will still receive crumbs And the coffers of the dictators keep getting bigger
that’s my opinion. Yes, I know how that is. I was saying, the changes I see are very little every time I come back every two or four years there’s a little bit more but it is still really bad For me, the thing is nobody has internet,
The ugliest part about that is almost no Cuban citizen will watch this interview And that’s bad because we want to help everyone, all Cubans to teach them about freedom This government needs to change obviously.
There’s nothing good about this government
but we need to do something I know you have an Anarcho-Capitalist Club that’s very cool, but how many people are in the club? Initially we were approximately 23 people 23 in Cuba 23 people I’m telling you, when this started it was a crazy idea I remember one of the first conferences we were able to make we discussed about… People were not able to understand how it could be possible to live in a society without government that was very crazy for them It is the same in the United States and many other places, hardly anyone can imagine a life without government It is worse here absolutely And well, it was also hard to discuss subjects such as privatized law, privatized justice and it was very hard to convince them But well, we were aware of that and that’s why our main objective was not very ambitious we simply wanted to plant the seed of liberty At present, in Cuba I now there are at least some people who know about anarcho capitalism Maybe they don’t know it deeply, even I don’t know it deeply yet. I need to keep on studying it, and deepening knowledge But at least now they have an idea of what the term “anarcho capitalism” means. Because previously people had no idea, the idea was completely nonexistent Are people here aware they live in a communist country?
do they like it? do they fall for propaganda? I don’t understand why people don’t complain or say “This is not good, we can’t work, we can’t earn money, and we don’t have freedom” What is the problem? Jeff, look you’d have to live in Cuba to understand the real dimension of what happens here I’m going to tell you my perspective, what I think about it after living this during 51 consecutive years And having the disadvantage of declaring myself publicly as an oppositionist to this government for me the worst part of these 56-57 years of dictatorship is the anthropological damage, I have called it that way. Remember there was an experiment here, to create a new man. A new man, and I think they really succeeded But that new man was achieved by going against everything anarcho capitalism stands for that new man was achieved by depriving freedom, depriving freedom of conscience, freedom of thought, the freedom of speech, and all kinds of freedom Cuba is a country with no freedom But when you are born here, and you’re taught “this is the only way”, and “this is good, this is good, this is good” And if you would say otherwise you jeopardize the alleged well-being of your family you even jeopardize your physical freedom, you can be put in prison… in jail From your earliest years in school you are taught “This is good” “Pioneers for communism, we will be like Che” and they’re telling you “Viva Fidel” he is our father Che Guevara Of course Thereupon anthropological damage is caused
Cuban people are paralyzed Practically all people in Cuba live off offences, they live off the black market because their wages are not enough to survive imagine one ordinary person with nonworking sons…
can you imagine? That’s predetermined and the reality is that. So they have to survive off offence, buying illegal stuff, and illegally obtained stuff And this is why our prisons are full, because of those offences Hence, however in early May instead of going to the revolution square to demand a wage increase
People go applaud and praise the dictators The same dictators who are the perpetrators of their misery and their calamities you can imagine how they go against their own happiness, they go against their own nature I think Cuban people –may God forgive me- but that’s my experience According to what I believe, what I’m living here
Cuban people have already grown accustomed to be slaves they have grown accustomed to be submissive They have grown accustomed to receive the crumbs the great dictator gives them
It is something complicated Obviously, each thing is complicated
Cuba is something very interesting to see, also Venezuela. I went to Venezuela three months ago And it is weird how nobody knows what’s going on
And nobody knows there is a different way of life which is way better, it is called freedom And for the people who are watching this in Spanish, people from Latin America. Anarcho-Capitalism simply means freedom You can do whatever you want
Just don’t hurt anyone
It is perfect, it is the only way to have a good life. When they hear “anarchist” most people think “ohh that’s very bad” disorder and that’s not true And when they hear “Capitalism”, most people also think “Oh that’s bad, they’re going to buy everything and we will not be able to have anything” No, capitalism means selling. I may buy a lake or a river, but I’m going to sell it the price I want, other people can do it too. It is a very good system It is not a system that’s the funny thing it is not a system, it is freedom a way of conviviality, a way of living yes, a way of living You said you became an anarcho capitalist in 2014? Is that true? Yes Before that what did you think about everything? For example, were you a communist? I was born in 1965 when the revolution was in full swing my parents used to tell me this was good. Ever since I went to school I was indoctrinated with only one option of thought. of course I used to be a communist, and I was a fervent communist but thank god, even before I got to know that anarcho capitalism was… That’s why I’m telling you every human being is anarcho capitalist Thank God there was a force who enlightened my reasoning, and I realized something wasn’t right, I was missing something There was a time in which I felt really frustrated because I was acting in a way that was not consistent with my former conscience I was starting to think for myself It was like I was beginning to snap out of the lethargy, the spell of vicious communism from there, is when I start realizing there was something wrong, and then I begin to publicly manifest For some time I was very frustrated and depressed because there was a cognitive dissonance I hadn’t found a balance, until I was finally able to do it but that entailed me two years of prison two years of prison and I started to think I could not continue acting differently of how I think I thought: “I am betraying myself my essence my nature my freedom my individuality” That’s not natural Curiously, when I was imprisoned was the first time I felt free because I felt liberated from all those lies and that burden I had in me. I was not able to bear it anymore
When I was in prison I felt free.
That’s an interesting irony In a way, anarcho-capitalism can be described as voluntarism a way of life where nobody has the need of using force. the non-aggression principle It is almost a way of… and I don’t want to say religion, but it is something natural. You for example, you realized things were weird, were wrong and you got depressed. A lot of people suffer depression caused by government related things, nobody is aware of that. It is very… when we have violence in our lives, government is violence, it can’t exist without violence. And that’s very wrong. And it is very interesting to hear how changed your mind because it is true, a lot of people feel that way at some point after several years they thing “something’s wrong” And when you wake up a little bit, a lot of people get depressed they feel their whole life was a lie. But when you overcome that you feel much better I ask God at least 20 Cubans, just 20 Cubans get to experience true freedom. Because freedom is within yes I realized that while being in prison People wanto to be free Me just like all Cubans, we have a lot of pressures and constraining but I try to be free myself. I try to do what I want, this we’re doing here make me feel proud, to be able to talk and say what I think. For me, that’s life. For people watching this. Nelson may get in trouble for talking about this things in Cuba. I want to say, for everyone in the world who think freedom is important, be aware of this You don’t have much internet, in case you get in trouble because of this I want every person who believes in freedom to call all Cuban Embassies, and put pressure on them
So they leave you alone. And we’re going to do it. because I went to several countries, Venezuela for example I made an interview there, but he’s not in trouble because he’s now a public figure so I want the same thing for you The thing is… what do you think about Cuba?, how do you think we can help more people so they get to know these things? Without internet is very difficult I think that’s why the government hasn’t brought internet here That’s a really hard question to answer Yes it is hard, but what do you think Maybe you’ll see me as a pessimist, but I love peace and I think any fight that can be done to defend the rights of people in Cuba must certainly be made through peaceful ways. there are groups of people here who fight peacefully, for me one example of that are “Las damas de blanco” (The Women in White) They’re women, they’re going to be tomorrow… today I walked past their offices and there was already police and state security, they were already surrounding the area They will be there today and tomorrow, all they do is just loving freedom, going on peaceful demonstrations to proclaim liberty, that’s the only thing they do And they get punched and beat up, they are arrested So it is very difficult to assimilate those things, but it is even harder to see the indifference from most of our people they can justify that indifference in many ways but I don’t justify it anymore Because I have already freed myself from the chains of the dictatorship, so I cannot justify that indifference anymore for me that indifference is cruel I think through peaceful means almost nothing has being achieved. Some people have achieved things, and they have sacrificed themselves, they have even died fighting for the freedom of Cuba. but here there is just so much control here I say this without fear of being mistaken
until those Dictators aren’t finished, the Castros this can change but just a little bit And you know why? Why do I think this? Because it makes no sense when you’re ruling a country for more than 50 years, and you see the country does not flourish does not prosper it doesn’t make sense to hang on to that power I think it would be more honest to recognize “well I haven’t been able to do things right” or at least open up a little bit and make changes, but they never did that. 57 years of a dictatorship. So I think this is not going to be over until God decides… in a sense, or until God works a miracle to make them change their minds. They have… this is a very individual opinion. For me their problem when it comes to hold on to power is a problem of self-preservation. They have a self-reservation instinct. There are a lot of questionable things about them. They are linked to lots of crimes and murders, so in an attempt to self-preserve themselves they hang on to their power because if this country ever becomes democratic they can even be prosecuted. And maybe they will be sent to the bottom of hell, who knows. This is what I think, this is very subjective. This is why it is very hard for them to lose their power and give away their freedom because they live off the slavery of the people. If they give freedom to people they would destroy themselves. yes you said… that’s my opinion, and I respect the opinions of others but that’s what I think. yes of course You said you were pessimistic and it is the same all around the world for example I am here in Cuba talking to you and the things you say… it is almost the same in the United States people doesn’t know how to be free, it is worse here but there is not a single place in the world where everyone knows freedom. as long as there are governments there will be no freedom. exactly, it is crazy you said you believe in God, right? my point is, I believe there are things beyond what we can see, someone created this world and I don’t why I think this but I think things are changing now people are waking up, not everyone of course but there are more now than ever before. For example, last night I went to a bar here in Habana he’s Russian, half Russian half Cuban he’s the owner. And he said “My bar is private, and it is better when is private” And I said “obviously “
But when I said that it was crazy for him Like “do you think so?” and I said “Obviously, the government is bad it always ruins everything” And he was like “yes” I can see people are waking up, It has been so much time with government, central banks and these things and after so many years people are waiting for something better than that. freedom will always triumph undoubtedly Because as I was telling you it is the essence of the human being, otherwise it would destroy itself.
People are waking up clearly but it is not enough yet. there’s still a lot of work to be done. It is far from being enough. people live in fear here Yes that’s the thing, a lot of people are afraid
-yes, yes The thing we need to do is telling them to not be afraid of freedom. Help them for example you have your anarcho-capitalist club, I also do my things just to tell people: “Don’t be afraid you are the master of your own body, don’t be afraid” and when you know that the world is much better. you feel safer nobody wants to live imprisoned yet everyone lives imprisoned right now exactly except politicians, for example Castro here in Cuba Raul if you watch this, please end this and introduce free market, perhaps it will take time maybe 3, 4 or 5 years it doesn’t matter this is only think you can do to have a good life, and when you die you will say “I helped a lot of people, I freed the people” that’s precisely my motivation to carry on, first of all because I already experienced the delight of freedom, and I think doing the right thing is comforting I already explained to you the situation I have to live here, it is asphyxiating I am a potential beggar. take your time, smoke if you want I know it is hard to talk about these things, don’t worry What I have left, Jeff, when I go to the other world –if there is one- I’m going to go happy. that was the objective of the Club as I was telling you, to plant the seed at least, even If I don’t get to see the results but at least I feel happy, and I have a high self-esteem in that sense. I don’t care if they humiliate me Actually I don’t know if you are aware on May 5th I submitted to the ministry of justice a request to legalize a Mises Cuba association were you aware of that? no very good well I submitted that to the ministry of justice, I took the first steps to legalize… maybe if we could legalize a Mises Cuba association. the objective of the association is precisely to foment a philosophical debate, foment it and do conferences, workshops, bibliographies Always based on methodological individualism, based on individualistic thinking, I mean based on individualist thinking which is the one we love, present a debate proposal. Well it turned out, they have 60 days to answer
you have no idea what I have gone trough I have already gone there
the lady… Myriam that’s her name
the one from the department of associations she told me, “Yes, yes wait for an answer, wait for an answer” wait, wait, wat I went again last week and she told me “I sent you an answer by mail a month ago” so I went to the post office because the letter never arrived, and they told me “I can’t help you if you don’t bring me the code” so I talked again with the civil servant and she gave me a code “D.99” when I go with that code to the post office they told me “That’s not even similar to the codes we use here” so they are clearly shameless, they won’t even give me an answer, any kind of answer. So they use those tactics to challenge one’s persistence But I’m not going to stop persisting
I have a dunning letter ready addressed to the Secretary of Justice we’ll see her answer, I will let you know. that’s crazy and you can see there’s nothing wrong with that
they are simply afraid of freedom obviously The government is afraid, of course because if there is freedom there is no government that’s the reason for example in the United States the television is almost the same as here, it is propaganda “The government is good” “Freedom is wrong” but thank God we have internet… still I don’t really don’t know for how long, because they know now when people have access to information is really bad for them And I want to say something to the government and the people who want a government: you need to change it is time, we’re not going to kill you, no just end it and that’s all, it is fine, don’t be afraid. In the free market you can gain money just like everyone else, and that’s good. the government is also afraid, there’s a lot of fear so I asked you if you wanted to sit here so people can’t hear, Is it dangerous to talk about this here in Cuba? yes, is dangerous here in Cuba I can honestly tell you Jeff, I am here but any of those people could be agents of the government, maybe not, but it is still very likely that they are, maybe not that would be better. But I’m telling you I don’t care, why? because every time they call me, they have called me to interrogate me, and I tell them exactly the same things I’m saying here because I am convinced and I know I’m not doing something ignoble so they know I’m not afraid besides, what else could they do to me? Would they send me to jail? I am free within. yeah, I think the same. What I do is a little bit dangerous but I have no doubts, I need to do this. It is the only important thing in my life, it is my personal passion to tell people “freedom is the only way” so many people have suffered the government for years, millions of people suffering by the doings of the government It is time to wake up, and I feel the same way as you, I don’t care what they do to me. I’m still going to say this. and thank you for doing the same. so, do you want to say anything else? do you have something on your mind you want people to know? Well, what else can I say? I tell you, nowadays the only motivation I have besides my son, is to be free. to be free, and I am going to carry on to the end. and for people who want to help you, maybe? for example I went to find internet here, there’s only internet in one or two hotels in Cuba and I have access, but Paypal is blocked, Skype is blocked, a lot of things are blocked here. too much censorship is there a way people watching this can help you? for example you have your anarcho-capitalist club, you have Mises could they send money or something, is it possible? Bitcoin? all of that is possible, I have little knowledge… bitcoin doesn’t work here because there is no internet exactly It is possible, and I am honestly telling you I think I talked to you about this, and it is not a subject I would like to talk about, but the situation is very difficult. I say again, I am a potential beggar. and this is not because I choose to be. It is because I have no opportunities. I am a lawyer but they won’t let me work. and if I worked as a lawyer then I’d have to give up on my beliefs because I would have to adjust to the dictates of the dictatorship. and I will never do that. I prefer to go out and beg, rather than back down on my ideas. That will never happen. Is there a way people can contact you? my email do you want to share your email? [email protected] Ok, we’re going to put it below if you want to get in touch with nelson and help in a way or another you can contact him. and my telephone do you want to share it? whatever you prefer 53 559 2500 I think I missed a 5 we will confirm and put the number below this video for example I can only contact you by phone
-Perfect because you don’t have much internet.
And you don’t have much credit with your telephone
no, I don’t have right now there are almost no means communication here but we will try, you will see, a lot of people will call you or email you and we are going to help you I don’t want much calls, just what’s necessary so I can continue my work because I am really in need just as almost everyone here. But we’re talking about my case, because it is more complicated. yes, it is very difficult here in Cuba. so, this was Anarchast from Cuba with Nelson Chartrand thank you for watching if you like this please like subscribe and share so we can help get this message to more people, especially spanish speakers this anarchist was all in spanish, there are a lot of Latin Americas who don’t understand what freedom is, so please share. That’s it for anarchist in Cuba.
Peace love and anarchy