When Thor Halvorssen was in Seoul, South Korea, for a big human rights conference recently, he was so passionate with his communiques that he was leaving voice mails and texts to people all over the world at all kinds of hours. Most of these messages came in the middle of the night for those lucky recipients in the West. In some ways he is not surprising, considering the family he comes from. As mentioned on Time.com, Thor Halvorssen’s whole family has been involved in various kinds of political activism.
So, it was not out of character for Thor Halvorssen when he announced his creation of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF), in Caracas, Venezuela, his home town. In his heritage are the famous liberator of Venezuela from Spanish rule, as well as a leading political kingpin of Victorian-era South America: Simón Bolívar.
It was Thor’s father, Øystein Halvorssen who helped get Norway’s merchant marine fleet out of Europe, and sitting safely through the conflict of World War II in harbors of Venezuela. Not one ship was lost to the conflict. Like his ancestry, Thor is working to liberate all people everywhere who are being oppressed by their own governments, and not being allowed to have basic human rights, such as most Western countries uphold.
These are the very rights that the corrupt Venezuelan government has denied his father, after they illegally abducted, held, and tortured him. His mother was shot by a government hit squad while attending a legal and peaceful gathering. Thor still has a cousin who is being detained without charges in a Venezuelan prison.
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