STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
How Bitcoin, The Internet, and The Startup Societies Foundation Got One Man Out of Venezuela
By The Daily Bell Staff - April 30, 2017

Say what you will about Bitcoin–whether it is a real currency, a government conspiracy, or a Ponzi scheme–but for one Venezuelan man, it was a very real ticket out of a crumbling socialist country.

Guillermo Hernandez is now safely in Santiago Chile after The Startup Societies Foundation crowdfunded his travel out of Venezuela. It had to be funded with Bitcoin, as PayPal does not work in Venezuela. Bitcoin knows no borders.

The Venezuelan government has a bogus exchange rate, so in order to get the actual value of the Bitcoin when exchanging it for Venezuelan bolivars, Guillermo had to turn to the black market.

Before this, Guillermo had gone to the internet to make money since $1 a day wasn’t cutting it at his job in Venezuela. He was able to make $15 for a single task freelancing on the internet, and the only money he could accept was Bitcoin.

Still, he was only able to save about $20 a month, which meant having to spend possibly another year in Venezuela. And with government-aligned forces robbing and murdering in the streets, who knew when it would be too late to flee?

Thanks to Thibault Serlet, I soon began working at the Startup Societies Foundation, earning an additional income. After a few weeks, Thibault used the Startup Societies Foundation network to crowdfund Bitcoin donations for my ticket out of Venezuela.

Many generous, anonymous people helped me. I am forever grateful for their kindness.

I exchanged the bitcoin for enough bolivars to leave and then started my journey. I began an exodus through 5 countries, for a total of 6835 Km, from Venezuela to Chile.

Guillermo is a hard worker with marketable skills. Now safely out of a repressive country, he can reach his full potential, and not be hampered by destructive socialist policies.

The takeaway here is that Guillermo was able to remove himself from a terrible situation because of modern technology. He was able to make money online because of companies which connect people across oceans for freelance work. He was able to get paid because of crypto-currencies, regardless of the economic manipulation under the socialist regime.

Internet freelance, Bitcoin, Startup Societies Foundation and Guillermo’s defiance of the corrupt socialist powers controlling Venezuela made possible his escape from that socialist sinkhole.

Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Alan777

    Nice to read about a true story with a happy ending. It’s sad that the only feasible solution for people living in a socialist dictatorship is to leave the country.

    • ron R

      I find the opposition to socialism in the Excited States of Paranoia to be rather amusing. Capitalism is what is creating all of the problems around the world. It would be nice if there were more people, let alone more countries around the world with a social conscience..

      • Nobleharbor

        Spoken like a true socialist/Communist/Marxist. We don’t have true capitalism here, I wish we did… it’s more like corporatism.
        True capitalism is free trade, no taxes, minimal regulations.
        I’ve never seen a progressive socialist who didn’t “progress” People into serfdom, slavery, or death. That after all is the true meaning of progressive.

        • ron R

          Socialist, communist & marxist are the same?? I wasn’t aware of that. You americans are so brainwashed about socialism it is not even funny. And you do know, i assume,that communism is just the flip side of capitalism!!

          • Nobleharbor

            As Stalin would say, “you’re a useful idiot”. His words not mine. He would use you then march you to a pit, and machine gun you.
            This is history.
            Remember, forget this and you are likely to replete it.

          • So, Ron, where do you stand? I agree that both ideologies are not the ideal, but I wonder what system is?

          • Ilpatino

            No “system” is good. Anarchy is what is needed. (The lack of central command-anarchy that is)

          • Rich Paul

            True capitalism is the universal freedom to produce and trade however you choose.

            Corporatism is the first step of descent into communism where government starts to try to “regulate” the economy, and ends up creating distortions, cartels, and all the evils they claim to be fighting against. In this stage minimum wages and regulations render some people unemployable and condemn them to poverty, but most can escape poverty and live decent lives.

            Socialism is the second step of descent into communism. The government takes a more active role in the market, crippling production and making it harder and harder for people to survive. A “generous” welfare state is created to hand out money, but there is little to consume, because there is little produced, so these handouts just lead to linflation.

            Communism is when the government has total control of production, and renders production impossible. That is more or less where Venezuela is.

          • Ilpatino

            Idiotism is the only thing that is worse than communism.

          • aPEON

            socialism–[and its cousins]–elevates the State above the individual, thereby destroying freedom. True private property capitalism maintains the power with the people. We do not have private property capitalism any longer, not since Wilson.

            We have Financial Corporatism–which is controlled and supported by the government—-ie: Fascism.

        • georgesilver

          Makes me laugh every time I read people arguing about Capitalism, Socialism, Communism, or any other type of “ism”.
          There is only one ruling system and that is Controlism. All the others are just different names for the same thing. You’ve got the people at the top who are basically corrupt and the masses. How well you do in any of the “flavours” of Controlism is how well you can play the game.

  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    Aristocracy and moneyed classes always have the escape option. This Venezuelan escapee was a techie aristocrat and potentially moneyed. Now he will enter a market that according to rumors out of Sillycon Valley is getting crowded and paying incrementally less. But I still like the story’s Count of Monte Cristo aura. What will the ending be like?

    • gamathers

      Dimitri, Aren’t you making a few assumptions? Are all “techie’s” aristcrats? You say he is “potentially moneyed”, but I don’t see any indication of that, except that he has a computer and is on the Internet. But I assume you have a computer and also on the Internet. Are you also an aristocrat?

      • He has a point though. I live in majority Spanish speaking areas for for decades now. The ones who cn migrate are mostly the ones of more means.

        But more power to anybody who can materially improve their life despite the government robber barons’ obstacles.

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