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When Vit gives keynote talks, as he does all over the world on blockchain, finance, political

platforms, he often opens with a thought-provoking question:

“Who has thought about founding a country?”

Depending on the audience, people can nod enthusiastically, hands go up in the air and

there is a general buzz in the auditorium. For who indeed has not only thought about

founding a new country, but then go on to do it. Meet Vit Jedlicka, president and founding

father of Liberland, a country now celebrating five years in existence.

When Vit was 13, he read a book by Frederic Bastiat - The Law - which changed his life. The

book starts with a quote: “The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose but made to

follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law became the weapon of every kind of greed!

Instead of checking crime, the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!”

A Czech economist and politician, Vit worked tireless in his home country to create a new

society that was not hampered with the trappings of the old. Despite huge efforts he found

too many barriers.

“At that point I realized it might be easier to start a new country than change an existing

one.”

Once, this radical and inspiring thought grabbed hold, Vit and Jana Markovicova, his partner,

co founder and first lady, turned to Google to search for land that might serve their purpose.

The result was a sliver of forgotten land on the Danube and so Liberland was born.

The Free Republic of Liberland (known as “Liberland”) is a sovereign state with its physical

territory located between Croatia and Serbia on the west bank of the Danube river. The

nearest towns are Zmajevac (Croatia) and Bački Monoštor (Autonomous Province of

Vojvodina, Serbia). On some maps, this area is referred to as “Gornja Siga.”

Since the breakup of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a border dispute has

existed between Croatia and Serbia, with both sides presenting conflicting claims to various

territories along the banks of the Danube River.

However, this area along the west bank of the Danube River had not been claimed by either

Croatia, Serbia or any other country and was therefore in a state of terra nullius, i.e. no

man’s land, until the current president of the provisional government President Vít Jedlička

and the other founders of Liberland laid claim to the territory on April 13, 2015.

“We are building a country that can serve as a good example for other countries. The

biggest improvement is that, in Liberland, taxes are voluntary, and people are rewarded

when they pay them. We founded Liberland on April 13, 2015 to celebrate the birthday of

Thomas Jefferson. We wanted to invoke the spirit of American Revolution. We also want to

combine the best elements of the American republic, Swiss democracy, and the meritocracy

of Singapore. We want to put our system on the blockchain so that the government will work

in a modern and transparent way.

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“I don’t much like democracy by itself – it can be mob rule – but we can create a better

choice by adopting the Swiss voting model where people can veto where needed. People

are not so good at creating positive policy but they are very good at vetoing bad decisions.”

Liberland bases its right to nationhood on the international legal rules which outline 4 key

attributes. The first is a population, the second a defined territory, the third a government and

finally the capacity to enter into international relations with other states.

In fact, the first attribute has been amazing. As President Vit explained: “The first day we had

2,000 applications for citizenship, the second 10,000 and by the third we had 200,000. This

alone shows that there is a demand for what we are doing.”

Since Liberland was founded in 2015 there have been many advancements. There is a tech

team in place, Ghostbusters, building the world’s first autonomous decentralised

government, there are 100 global representatives and even 10 diaspora villages. Liberland

has signed a recognition deal with fellow micronation Somiland and is actively talking with

the UN for recognition.

Last year Liberland established a Free Trade Zone in Apatin in neighbouring Serbia to

convert it to a Liberland Business incubator. The Liberland Group operates as

a conglomerate to harbour the interests of Liberland companies. Working as an entity under

one umbrella offers advantages like organization of transport, shipping, loading, agency

services, insurance and reinsurance, and banking and cryptocurrency payment services.

Apatin is very close to Liberland and is located on the Danube River, a natural ‘road’

connecting ten European countries. The Free Zone in Apatin covers an area of 122 ha,

which provides plenty of space for future expansion just ten kilometers from Liberland on the

Danube.

In 2019, the concept of a humanitarian assistance program for Liberland supporters to rally

around was initiated. Liberland Aid Foundation (LAF) is a U.S. registered not-for-profit

organization operated by Nicholas and Julia Rodriguez and Stephen Wood along with

a board of directors with seven members. The LAF is focused on providing humanitarian aid,

disaster preparedness, food assistance, water sanitation and hygiene, education and

training, conservation and sustainability.

The LAF already channelled tons of food aid to victims of a cyclone in Somaliland, brought

supplies and donations to a library operated by Students for Liberty in Uganda, sent laptop

computers to a school in Serbia and is bringing several tonnes of food aid to Haiti.

“Over the past five years we have grown from an idea to a reality. Each year we grow in

numbers, strengths, supports and vision. We encourage like-minded individuals to come join

us.”

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