In the most recent episode of Philanthropy Roundtable’s interview series “Doers to Donors,” Roundtable President and CEO Christie Herrera spoke with Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg, founder and chairman of The Orchestra of the Americas Group.
Their wide-ranging conversation centered around Ochoa-Brillembourg’s success as an entrepreneur, her commitment to the arts and her personal story as an immigrant to the United States. During this discussion, Ochoa-Brillembourg, the chairman emeritus and founder of Strategic Investment Group, made the case for why capitalism is an engine for growth – and, on the other hand, why socialism breeds corruption.
“[Capitalism] creates a marketplace for people to find the optimal way to trade their skills and to grow, and governments are necessary. We need rules. We need laws. We need rights that need to be defended by somebody, but governments are not what creates real wealth,” she said. “Without private enterprise, without business, without innovation, without entrepreneurs … we have a debt economy, and that is what has happened to my country. It is a band of criminals that is destroying the country and they have ruined the private sector.”
Ochoa-Brillembourg, who grew up in Venezuela, detailed the country’s economic collapse and the “tragic” consequences caused by its socialist government.
“I have never met a socialist who didn’t want to take other people’s money for themselves,” she said. “They have stolen [Venezuelans] blind. And it’s what’s happening in China and it’s what’s happening in Russia. Corruption in a socialist regime is extraordinarily more rampant than in a democracy.”
She also offered a warning for those in the United States not to fall prey to the lures of socialism. If that happened, she said, “I don’t know where else I would go.”
Learn more about “Doers to Donors” and watch the full interview featuring Hilda Ochoa-Brillembourg here or listen to the podcast on Apple, Google or Spotify. Subscribe to the Roundtable’s YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss future episodes.