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The story behind LIBRE: Championing Latino freedom and prosperity

June 19, 2024

America is different from the rest of the world because people can pursue their dreams and build their future here. That’s why millions of people throughout history have journeyed to the U.S. to achieve their American Dream.

The story of America and Hispanics is one of rugged individualism. This country was built by millions of independent, entrepreneurial people working hard to reach their aspirations. Daniel Garza is one of them.

Drawn by America’s prosperity, opportunity, and freedom, Daniel’s family left their home in the small rural town of Garza Gonzales in Mexico and settled in California’s Central Valley, where he and his family worked as farmers.

At 19, Daniel started working at the local police, first as a radio operator and then as an officer. Seeing his community’s needs firsthand motivated him to dedicate his life to public service. He was elected to the city council, and then he became involved in party politics. Daniel worked for President Bush’s 2000 campaign and was later appointed to the Department of the Interior. In 2003, the president appointed him to represent the administration’s policies to the Latino community.

Tired of national organizations using Hispanics as props to push for policies and priorities that did not benefit the community, Daniel set out to create a national movement to empower Latinos and limit government. He envisioned a freedom-loving organization by the Hispanic community, for the Hispanic community— a movement that listened to Latinos, not one that dictated terms to them.

Just like that, the idea of LIBRE —which means freedom in Spanish— was born.

In 2011, Garza and a small team of fourteen people crammed into a tiny office in McAllen, Texas, to start a movement. The goal was ambitious, and the team got to work. Daniel knew in order to make a difference LIBRE had to do three things: first be a part of the conversation by advocating for freedom-minded solutions for Latinos in the media, in the community and in the halls of power; second be embedded in the community by offering programs that informed the community, and offered programs that would help them prosper; and third, LIBRE needed an army.

Today, LIBRE is active in 13 states with dedicated Latino representatives and volunteers from the communities who are committed to working hard to break down barriers to opportunity. As Daniel explains, “What makes LIBRE different is that we hire from the community, we engage within the community and our advocates and activists are from the community. We listen to our community, what are their priorities.” Latinos are no longer at the edges of society; we are now on the frontlines of the fight for liberty in America. America needs a strong and prosperous Latino community, and vice versa, and we at LIBRE are leading the charge on the ground, in capitol buildings across the country, and the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C.

What started in a small office with a small group of people has become a nationwide movement of Latinos committed to liberty and prosperity, and we are just getting started.