Thor Halvorssen was interviewed by Trish Regan on Fox Business Network on February 25, 2016. Halvorssen is the founder and president of the Human Rights Foundation (HRF). Regan asked Halvorssen: “Why do you believe socialism is a violation of basic human rights?”
Halvorssen answered: “Countries that do not violate human rights can have socialist governments and that is perfectly okay.” He explained that governments that have branches of government, separation of powers, and Constitutional powers, like Denmark, Finland, or Sweden, that have socialist or labor governments, can be perfectly fine in terms of not violating human rights. The problem arises, Halvorssen said, “When socialism is done under an authoritarian government or someone using socialism as a mask takes control of a government, claims that they are going to help the people, and ultimately ends up looting the country. . . “ Halvorssen believes there is a difference between a country having a socialist government and a government having socialist policies.
Thor Halvorssen made a statement that seemed to astonish Regan: “I actually made the largest contribution allowable to the campaign of Bernie Sanders.” She said, “Really? Why?” He explained the current Democratic front runner right now has taken millions and millions of dollars in contributions from many dictators. He named Algeria, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, and described human rights violations that have occurred in these countries, such as executing people for being gay, completely restricting all press freedoms, and banning Christmas.
Halvorssen described his own family’s experiences in socialist Venezuela. Halvorssen’s father was a political prisoner, his mother was shot by Chavez, and his first cousin is currently a political prisoner in Venezuela. He states that for years, decades, Venezuela had a socialist government, and things were fine there. If, he says, there is rule of law, socialism can work. He believes that poverty is not best solved by redistributing wealth; he believes making more wealth is the solution: “I am a believer in free markets.”
Halvorssen’s final statement: “I’d rather have a democratic socialist than a supporter of dictators in the White House.”