Life begins at forty. Thor Halvorssen is 39 years old. This is the age where you look down from your castle and appreciate how far you have come. He has a successful foundation. The Human Rights Foundation is based in NewYork. He is half Norwegian and Venezuelan in decent. An interview with him is a pleasant experience. His English is accentless.
Thor Halvorssen has a rich family heritage reads like a novel. His mother is a direct descendant of the first President of Venezuela. His grandfather is a warrior and a man of great valor. His career path was well beaten even before he got here. His parent held the topic closely at heart. Otherwise, they would never have taken up those positions.
Spending time with him reveal, Thor did not learn human rights from the classroom. It is clear; it is a topic dear to him. He is responsible for bringing to light corruption in the government. He had to become a drug czar. The Venezuelan government has a no mercy rule on snitches. His father bore the brunt of retaliation. His cousin has suffered the same fate. He is languishing in a Venezuelan prison.
Many are the activists who would be bitter. Thor Halvorssen has a reason. However, his outlook on life is the exact opposite. Thor loves people too much to let a bitterness creep in. A self-proclaimed troublemaker and noisemaker, he has a special place in his heart for dissidents and defectors.
A notable one in our time is Garry Kasparov and Vaclav Havel. Before his death five years ago, Vaclav was chairman at HRF. Kasparov has been beaten up and humiliated by the Russian policeman couple of times. During a Pussy Riot, police beat him senseless. He received a two-year sentence.
The founder of the Human Rights Foundation is no stranger to beatings. He was seriously beaten in Vietnam in an attempt to record an interview with Thich Quang. Thich Quang is a Buddhist monk, currently under house arrest. When authorities realized it, he and his cameraman were arrested and beaten up. Only a lie could get him out of the predicament.
Thor Halvorssen is a hero. Such visits have led to the release of political prisoners. He has been able to attract funding from philanthropists. This is surely a feat to be lauded and emulated.
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