Yon Goicoechea

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Yon Goicoechea.

Yon Goicoechea (born 1984) is a Venezuelan lawyer, graduated from the Universidad Católica Andrés Bello and active in the opposition to the government of Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez. Goicoechea was one of the main organizers of the Movimiento estudiantil venezolano (Venezuelan Student Movement) cited as a key factor in the rejection of Chavez's proposed constitutional changes in the December 2007 Venezuelan constitutional referendum.

In 2008, the Cato Institute awarded Goicoechea the Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty which comes with $500,000.[1]

Peruvian novelist Mario Vargas Llosa called Yon Goicoechea, "a symbol of… democratic reaction when freedom is threatened."[2]

After receiving the Milton Friedman Prize, Goicoechea has experienced harassment in Venezuela including suffering a broken nose in a scuffle. State-run television has depicted him in a cartoon stamped with the words "Made in USA" clutching wads of cash.[3] Death threats have forced him to move between various friends' homes to find a safe place to sleep. President Chávez has called the Goicoechea-led student movement, a "fascist attack".[4]

Goicoechea cites his Cuban-born grandmother, a Castro opponent, as the inspiration for his political activism.[3]


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