We meet in South Africa on the eve of the Centenary of the Liberation movement the ANC, in 2012. We do this to take stock with our comrades on how far they have come in building a non –racial, non –sexist, democratic and prosperous Society, fighting with every fiber in their beings to defeat imperialism in all its forms. We have come to celebrate the hosting of the festival in South Africa, aware of the magnificent role played by its movement to bring about democracy to South Africa, aware that the ANC YL was amongst the founding members of the Festival movement and the 1st African President of WFDY. We have come here to pay tribute to the contribution of Andile Yawa and all the festival veterans for giving to us a tool for Solidarity, brotherhood and an agent for change through the festival movement. We have dedicated this festival to the struggle and legacy of 2 heroes, who have made it possible for us to speak about Solidarity and World Peace: Commander Fidel Castro and Madiba Nelson Mandela. We thank them for their tireless spirits.
63 years after the beginning of the WFYS’ Movement was initiated in Prague, we highlight the important role that the Socialist camp has played in the support of this top event of the anti-imperialist youth. The location of the WFYS itself is a statement of solidarity with the struggle of its people. The WFYS is an expression of the struggle against imperialism and the struggle against the exploitation of man by man. Of particular importance is the contribution of Socialist Cuba, not only because it has hosted the festival twice, but also because by doing so in 1997 it helped the Festival movement to be re-launched despite the difficulties of the international anti-imperialist and working class’ movements in the 1990’s. We congratulate WFDY on its 65th anniversary for its contribution to the struggle for peace, justice and the Festival movement, in this year that we celebrate also the 65 years of the peoples’ victory against Nazi Fascism.
As the anti-imperialist movement of the youth and of the people developed its struggle, the imperialists also seek to consolidate their forces and to fortify their structures. They use all mechanisms in their hands such as NATO, AFRICOM, EU, IMF, WB, WTO and all ways of intervention such as blockades, sanctions, embargos, conflicts, military intervention, wars and occupations against sovereign states and progressive movements. The new strategic concept “NATO 2020”, decided in Lisbon earlier this year incorporates all the changes made in its structure of the previous years (12 new member-states, utilization of the “Partnership for Peace” in its plans), changes its position towards contesting imperialist forces like Russia, signing agreements with them; it reinforces the cooperation with EU, proving it as an imperialist organism for the creation and education of military corps, acting against “extremism” inside and outside of the member’s borders, targeting firstly all those struggling to defend the rights of the peoples and the youth against imperialism. Under these circumstances, the attack against anti-imperialist forces is intensified, with particular expression in anti-communist measures.
The crisis of the capitalist system is inherent to the deepening of its inner contradictions, unveiling its historical incapacity to achieve progress for mankind. This crisis provides the ground for emerging imperialist forces that in the past have either clashed with the USA or EU, or have been their allies, to use the different timing in the manifestation of the crisis to increase their influence in the imperialist pyramid, to hold a bigger piece in the capitalist struggle for markets and exploitation. It is not a result of the administration models of the economy or the corruption of the system; it is now expressed all around the capitalist world in both neoliberal and social-democrat led countries. We are in a phase of deepening of the crisis; the recuperation in the following years will be minuscule: the rights of the youth will continue to be attacked at social, economical and cultural level every day. It demonstrates the historical limits and the failure of the capitalist system to answer to the peoples’ needs and aspirations; it highlights the need for the creation of a society and a mode of development that will strive to fulfill the youth’s and the peoples’ needs and rights.
The youth generations’ human rights and liberties are violated categorically in every corner of the planet. The “capitalist globalization”, the system of exploitation and control of the people and resources is pushing masses of young people into the margins of society. They are the first victims of the social inequalities at all levels. The 212 million of people unemployed, in a world that precarious, temporary occupation is the rule, are a proof of this. Only between 2007 and 2009 increased 34 million. Due to the economic crisis, even more jobs were lost, condemning more people to misery and poverty. We struggle against the elimination of the majority of labor rights, especially those of young workers who suffer more the effects of unemployment. An entire generation of young people is being transformed in a generation without rights.
We highlight the role of young women in the struggle for their emancipation as part of the general struggle against imperialism. Women, who are even more strongly attacked by the imperialist policies, deserve our appreciation and full support to end all abuses and discriminations existing in our world as part of our combat to defeat imperialism.
The “external debts and deficits” that have become a reality for many countries are results of the policies followed by the capitalist forces in all countries independently of their position in the correlation of forces. They reflect the unequal development and the division of work in the capitalist system. They are utilized so that the dominant class in both loaner and loaning countries becomes more potent while the people suffer from the load of the crisis on their backs. In the international imperialist system there is no place for equal and respectful relationships between the states and the peoples, it is another proof of the need for revolutionary social transformation of the system that bears inequality and misery.
The imperialist profit drive and unbridled exploitation of the planet’s natural resources follows the logic of destruction and is the main threat to the environment and to the future of the planet. The environmental issue is taking on an alarming dimension due to the production of Genetically Modified (GM) organisms, which are jeopardizing humankind’s future. Water all around the globe is being more and more a target to the exploitative nature of capitalism and is being used as a strategic and political weapon by imperialism. Imperialism’s strategy is to pass the responsibilities for the environmental problems onto the people, individualizing what are presented as solutions in order to increase even further the big companies’ profits through the so called “green” products.
Imperialist warmongering policies produce such crises as refugees, millions of people who are compelled to leave their homes, lands, jobs and families. We strongly condemn the imperialist economic policies, interventions and occupations that have produced millions of immigrants, we uptake the struggle in the defense of the rights of the immigrants in work, education, social services. No human being can be illegal.
Imperialist policies attack the full development of education and of the young people, preventing them from accessing a free and quality education that is a school of freedom and commitment with peace. We defend and struggle for education as a public and social good, a universal human right, which gratuity must be ensured by the state. We reject the intentions of privatization that several public institutions of different levels are being victims of. We demand the withdrawal of education from the agreements of the WTO – education is not commodity!
The increase in use of drugs in young people is a dangerous phenomenon that proves the decay of the capitalist system. Millions of young people live with AIDS, mostly in Africa and Asia. The big pharmaceutical trusts monopolize the production and distribution of needed medicine are profiting from pandemics instead of providing the means of treatment. Children are being abused and forced into military operations, prostitution, and drug trafficking; the number of street children is increasing.
Despite this offense the progressive and peace loving forces have been resisting, conquering important victories and growing stronger. The struggle for peace has been very important along the years and with these recent actions we try to raise the consciousness of the youth masses and focus the struggle against the enemy of peace, imperialism. The fight at national level plays a central role in the fight against the specific measures affecting the youth. We highlight the importance of the victories achieved by the struggles of the students, workers, peasants, indigenous and women’s movements in times as these. We underline the importance of several electoral victories and other positive results of progressive parties and coalitions
Africa, many years after the attainment of political independence still remains a political and economic playground for America and its allies. HIV/AIDS still remains a life threatening challenge promising to wipe out the entire African race, alongside Malaria and other imperialist manufactured diseases. A child dies every three seconds from AIDS and extreme poverty. We condemn the unjust sanctions against Eritrea and call for the bilateral solving of the conflict with Ethiopia without any external intervention. The growing US presence in Africa through AFRICOM, used as its military expansionist project in Africa, has allowed the Americans to pose serious military threats to African countries. We denounce the setting up of military bases in the name of AFRICOM and demand Botswana to immediately remove them as they pose a perpetual security threat to SADC countries and we support that people’s struggle to achieve democracy. We condemn the deliberate funding of civil society and opposition parties in Africa by the West to bring about regime change agenda’s guised in the name of ‘development”. We further condemn the ICC for its apparent onslaught of African leaders as well as all the media campaigns promoted by imperialism to destabilize the region. We stand in solidarity with the people and youth of Swaziland and demand the release of all political prisoners. We strongly condemn the continued military occupation of Western Sahara by the Kingdom of Morocco and request the respect of the Saharawi people right to self-determination and independence. The Moroccan government should immediately put an end to the blockade of the occupied territories of Western Sahara and allow entry into the territory to international observers and independent media. We denounce and condemn all forms of human rights violations including persecutions, arbitrary detentions, disappearances and irregular trials etc.., committed by the Moroccan authorities against the Saharawi civilians and demand the release of all political detainees and the disband of the wall dividing the territory. We further make a clarion call for the immediate lifting of economic sanctions on Zimbabwe that have continued to cause untold pain and suffering on their people which are also a catalyst for their regime change agenda in Zimbabwe. We are in solidarity with the revolutionaries in Africa, and urge them be steadfast against imperial tendencies. We welcome the second phase of the African people’s struggle, the struggle for economic independence through indigenization, nationalization or any other form of empowerment to its people. We congratulate the people of Angola for the reconstruction process that is being implemented in the country. We empathize with West African countries in crises, coups and political instability, caused by imperial infiltration, and call for an urgent resolution and retention of political stability. We call for the stop of the violations of human rights in Sudan, especially in Darfur and we call for peace in the country, as well as freedom for labor organizations. Despite that, we condemn any sort of imperialist intervention against Sudan. The crisis in Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Guinea, and the problems in Nigeria are instructive in the assessment of the current political landscape in West Africa. We also condemn the involvement of imperialist allies in the assassinations of heads of state in Burkina Faso, among others. Also, pressures from Europe and the US has forced the signing of exploitive contracts on mineral resources (as also happens in Western Sahara by the EU), as this has ruined and impoverished most countries, denying them the ability of local investment and causing a runaway youth, in search of better living conditions resulting in massive loss of life during the emigration.
The Asia-Pacific region has remained one of the explosive areas in the world, a springboard of military provocation and armed conflicts as well as of arms build-up and interference that have seriously threatened peace and security in Asia and the world. The present developments in this region have proved that the US and the NATO having more common imperialist strategies for Asia-Pacific Region. They are pursuing to establish new political-military groupings in order to extend the sphere of military activities covering the whole area of Asia and the Pacific. The growing US military presence in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, the US-Israeli strategic alliance, and the growing military cooperation with reactionary regimes in the Gulf poses a serious threat to peace, stability and security in the region. In South Asia, imperialist intervention has deepened, particularly due to US intervention in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The so called Af-Pak strategy of the US to pursue its utterly selfish interests has only resulted in serious political instabilities in the region, not to mention the brutal killings and loss of lives and property faced by the common people of people of South Asia due to the blatant aggression of US imperialism. We express our support for the people and youth of Iran in their struggle against the repressive, anti-communist and undemocratic regime, which should be overcome by the people without any sort of imperialist intervention, which is for us unacceptable. We denounce the huge US military presence in the Korean Peninsula and demand that the Armistice Agreement of 1953 should be replaced with a comprehensive peace agreement. We call upon the young people of the world to join the international solidarity campaign in support with Korean people and youth in their just cause for the national reunification under the banner of the June 15 North-South Joint Declaration, and for building a prosperous, powerful and socialist country. We condemn the deployment of US troops in Philippines and its role fighting the national revolutionary forces. We stand in solidarity with the struggles of the young people of Bangladesh. We express our solidarity towards the people and youth of Nepal in their struggle for a new federal democratic republic. We demand the return of all Bhutanese refuges to their country with respect and dignity. We support the struggle of the Burmese people for the restoration of democracy and for the release of all political prisoners as we welcome the release of Aung San Suu Kyi. We express support for Sri Lanka’s progressive movement’s struggle for national unity. We salute the Vietnamese youth and people in their struggle for national independence and socialism, at a time when the 65th anniversary of the birth of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (now Socialist Republic of Vietnam) is celebrated, and we express our solidarity towards the Vietnamese victims of the US’ Agent Orange / Dioxin in their struggle for justice.
In Latin America and the Caribbean the progressive forces have given important steps in the struggle against the interests of imperialism and its free trade policies. These steps are expressed in the integration mechanisms in the region as the ALBA-TCP, UNASUR, MERCOSUR and the future creation of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States; it is our goal an equitative distribution of the resources of the continent with fiscal measures over the big monopolies, which allow us to recover from more than 500 years of exploitation and underdevelopment. We denounce the imperialist policies of interventions of USA through the deployment of military bases and missions in the region, as happens in Panama, Colombia and Haiti and the reactivation of the 4ht Fleet, which goal is to reinforce the attack against the Citizen Revolution in Ecuador, the Plurinational Revolution in Bolivia, the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and particularly the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela, since they represent a historical and revolutionary alternative to the capitalist system. We further denounce other mecanisms of interference as terrorism and drug dealing because they have a direct impact on peoples like the Mexican. We stand in solidarity with the Colombian people, victim of constant political murderers imposed by imperialists, as we also express our rejection of the usage of the canal of Panama for interventional geoestrategic, with the transit of war and nuclear armament. We support the struggle of the people of Puerto Rico for its full self determination and we are in solidarity with the harsh situation of Haiti, victim of colonialism. We strongly condemn the coup d’etats that took place in Honduras and Ecuador, aiming at the desestabilization of the progressive processes in the region and we recognize the role played by the members of WFDY in both countries resisting and struggling. We demand justice for the assassination of comrade Edwin Perez, Secretary General of the Communist Youth of Ecuador, and we condemn the unfair persecution that has been targetting the people of Mapuchi in Chile. We express our solidarity towards the struggles of the young people of the Caribbean. We express our solidarity with the struggles of the aboriginal and first people’s for full self determination. We know the youth of Canada and USA stand in friendship with the peoples of the world, not war and imperialism that their Governments promote. We condemn the unfair economical, financial and commercial blockade imposed against the Cuban people for more than 50 years in what is a clear violation of the International Law as well as we demand from the USA government the immediate release of the five Cuban unjustly imprisoned in their jails for more than 12 years.
The last years have confirmed the European Union as an imperialist tool that supports and promotes measures of exploitation of the peoples and youth, intervening both outside and in its member states, many times under the alleged defense of the “human rights” that itself fails to respect. The recent “austerity measures” that the National Governments have agreed upon with the EU to be implemented, with the pretext of the capitalist crisis, demanding sacrifices by the workers while the monopolies (banks and big corporations) are receiving billions to ensure their profits, as well as the measures imposed by the governments to the peoples are proof of our analysis. However the peoples’ resistance has had big expression in Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain, with young workers playing an important role. In Education, there’s been a general trend of imposing class barriers and privatizing throughout all Europe, with particularly strong expression in the “Bologna Process” and its implementation in each country. Important struggles at Higher and Secondary Education level have been taking place in most of the countries to resist the general offense against the right to education. Side by side with the attack at social level, the attacks against the democratic rights, in general, and anti-communism, in particular, have been increasing rapidly, with a growing persecution of communist parties and youth organizations in many European countries, with particular expression in Eastern Europe with cases as the ones happened in Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia with the ban (or attempt) of communist organizations and the rise and promotion of neo fascist forces. As background to the crisis, the xenophobic measures guided by the “European fortress” doctrine of the EU have been promoting the persecution of immigrants as justification to the social problems that arise from the profit-only orientated policies of the national governments, in a process with big implications in countries as France, Germany and Italy. We stand against the change of borders continuing in the Balkans with the so called “independence” of Kosovo, which became a huge military base for NATO and USA. We further express our solidarity with the people and youth of Cyprus, Greek and Turkish Cypriot, against the Turkish occupation, highlighting the big efforts made since the election of Dimitris Christophias as President of the Republic and our commitment to the bicommunal bizonal federation with one citizenship, one international identity and one sovereignty as the fair solution for the end of the occupation.
We express our solidarity with the students and youth of Palestine, Iraq and Arab countries’ resistance and support the persistence of Palestine in the resistance against the blockade and oppression. We denounce the racist inhumane practices of the Zionist Israel, with the policies of killing, expelling and settlements in Palestine, especially in Jerusalem, and in various occupied Arab Lands. We also demand an end to the Israeli occupation, removal of settlements and the wall of apartheid and we support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to UN resolutions, requesting the UN and the countries of the world to recognize the Palestinian state immediately. We denounce the war and blockade against Gaza and demand its breakdown and that the Zionist war criminals are persecuted; we also request to re-instate the UN resolution that equalizes Zionism with racism. We call for the immediate release of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners detained in Israeli and US prisons. We denounce the occupation of Iraq and support the right of the Iraqi people for resistance and demand the immediate withdrawal of the occupation forces out of it. We support the sovereignty, security, stability and unity of Iraq. We denounce the terrorism in all of its forms as well as the US secret military operations in the region. We express our solidarity towards Syria against the Israeli occupation of the Syrian Golan and denounce the “Syria Accountability Law” approved by the USA Congress. We also support the struggles of the Lebanese youth to complete the liberation of Sheba and Kfarshoba from the Israeli occupation and denounce the Israeli war of 2006 that lead to 1300 Lebanese victims. We denounce external interferences in the internal issues of Lebanon. We support the national dialogue of Yemen and emphasize the security and unity of Yemen. We demand the withdrawal of Spain from Cebta and Mellilla. We support the Egyptian youth and the youth of the Gulf States in their struggle to implement democratic rights, principles of justice and equality and we express solidarity with them against repressive laws and for labor rights. We also ask to treat the causes of immigration from Africa to Europe through Northern African countries. We support the struggles of the Arab youth for economic integration and demand the immediate dismantle of the Israeli nuclear arsenal.
The 17th WFYS is held during the UN International Year on Youth. As happened in 1985, once again the WFYS is, so far, the biggest youth event of this year. More importantly, the WFYS is the most relevant activity, because it most clearly raises the real problems of the youth. Unlike many other activities and the actual framework of UN Year on Youth, in this Festival the youth of the world finds the biggest stage for denouncing the problems and offenses that they suffer from imperialism and its agents.
We, the youth and students of the world gathered in this historical festival, raised our voices against all the illnesses) generated by imperialism, which is undergoing its greatest global crisis. The imperialist world order is driving humanity to the verge of a global confrontation, with the ever-present danger of a nuclear war, through its hegemonic policy that will determine the present and the future of mankind.
It is time to continue the struggle for youth development and our economic, social and cultural values and not those of a decadent system they are trying to impose on us. We shall build a future of justice, equality, peace, hope and joy for humanity. The future of a new stage of history is in our hands and it depends on the peoples, working masses and world youth and their power of transformation, to build a world of peace and solidarity, where the power and the produced wealth will belong to the peoples and the youth of the world.
We thank the people of South Africa for welcoming us to their country and celebrating with us the opportunity to see South Africa change. We commit to you that we the youth of the world will never let our guard down in pursuance of a world free of imperialism. Let us start getting ready for the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students!
As it is clear by this stands and in the parade we have seen: the youth of the world arrived to South Africa!
After more than one year of meetings, concerts, workshops, seminars, street and media promotion and many other activities in more than one hundred countries of the world, the 17th World Festival of the Youth and Students is finally here!
All over the world, hundreds of thousands of young people were part of this process that allowed us to collectively build this event. All of them, all of us make this Festival surely the most significant event of youth ever seen.
We arrive to the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students having the rich history of 16 editions before us, where hundreds of thousands of young people celebrated peace and came together to share its experiences and extend solidarity in their common worldwide struggle against imperialism.
Throughout the world generations of anti-imperialist young people have made this movement incomparable, a truly avenue of hope that stretches from the first Festival until today and which we are sure will be extended to the future on and on.
This Festival won’t let down the tradition and the expectations that the young people of the world have put on it. This theatre of dreams will surely be the platform where, once again, together we will create the most important and relevant stage for the struggles of the young people of the world to come together.
Dear comrades and dear friends,
When we decided to come to South Africa we didn´t do it for geographical reasons. To organize this Festival here is, in itself, an affirmation that we can win, that we can defeat our enemies and we can make justice and solidarity prevail, as happened in the overthrown of the apartheid regime in 1994.
The history of South Africa and its people and youth is a clear and loud statement that when we struggle we can win. And only the struggle is the way for the victory. No matter how strong is our enemy, no matter how hard it tries to oppress and exploit us, imperialism and its puppets will never be able to prevent the unstoppable strength of the people from being victorious!
The powerful example of Nelson Mandela, a resistant that never hesitated to continue struggling, despite the persecutions, tortures and very long imprisoning, is an inspiration to the young people of our world.
It is not by chance that this Festival is dedicated to comrade Mandela and to comrade Fidel Castro. In them we see the persistence and determination of true revolutionaries, those that have lead us to where we are today and without whom our resistance and victory against imperialism would have been a million times more different.
In both, in their struggle and their deep sense of internationalism, we can find the support to the struggles of the peoples of all countries in the world. It is not inappropriate to state that the impact of their solidarity goes way beyond the borders of their countries and can be felt all over the world.
The youth and people of the world are faced with a huge economical crisis that goes down to the very roots of the system under which we live. This crisis demonstrates even further that the irrational and unjust nature of the capitalist organization of society is incompatible with the fulfillment of the needs and as aspirations of the peoples and youth.
It is not by chance that, despite the crisis and constant appeals for so called “general sacrifices” or “austerity measures” , in most countries of the world, we can see the poor and the workers getting poorer, and the richer and bank and corporation owners getting even richer and richer.
The profit orientation of this system makes it consider the basic needs of peoples less important than some few bank accounts full of money. That is why there is two times more production of food than necessary to feed all mankind, but there are still people starving to death. That is why there are pills to allow decent lives to the carrier of AIDS, but they stay accessible only for those who can afford their huge prices.
Mankind has achieved fantastic technological developments in the last decades. Achievements capable of producing a revolution in the life of mankind, taking water, electricity and communication to all corners of the world. However, this doesn’t happen. The lords of the world, USA, European Union, Japan and their puppets, prefer to keep investing in ways to kill us, instead of making our life better. The military industry keeps growing and with it grows the number of children out of school and unemployed people. Why? What for? Just to satisfy their greed!
The youth of the world does not accept to be made a generation without rights! As we learnt from the anti-apartheid slogan “Freedom in our lifetime” we now say “Fulfillment of our rights in our lifetime!”. Our rights, our access to Education (free and for all), our jobs, our happiness cannot continue being a postponed project! We want all that we are entitled to and we won’t stop our struggle until we achieve it!
In this Festival we will send a big wave of solidarity to the people and youth of Western Sahara. To our Saharawi comrades we say: “We are by your side, we will struggle by your side for your self-determination! We won’t let the human rights abuse dealt to you by Morocco continue!” We will liberate the last colony of Africa!
In this Festival we will reaffirm our total and committed solidarity with the Palestinian people and youth. We won’t let the continuation of the Israeli occupation, we won’t allow the Palestinian people to continue being forced to live as refugees. Now and always we support the Palestinian resistance!
In this Festival, we will expose to the world the case of the Cuban Five Heroes,; young people that the empire has unjustly arrested and to whom keeps denying freedom and even the most basic rights, just because these people have decided to defend their country and fight the set of criminals that from Miami want to destroy the achievements of the Cuban Revolution. Side by side with that, we will condemn and demand the immediate withdrawal of the criminal USA embargo to Cuba.
In this Festival, we will reaffirm our solidarity with the people of Korea in their struggle against the imperialist provocations made by USA every single day. With our hearts and our knowledge of history we say with the Korean people: Korea is one!
This Festival is also a demonstration of solidarity with the Cypriot people, victim of the Turkish occupation that divides their land. For us all this is unacceptable and we won’t rest until we see Cyprus reunified in a bizonal and bicommunal federation as proposed by our comrade and veteran of the Festivals, President Demetris Christophias.
In this Festival, we will denounce the crimes of the Colombian government against its own people. The persecutions, displacements, imprisoning, tortures and crimes must stop! The Colombian people deserves to live in peace, not in a country where they don’t know what will happen tomorrow and that is becoming the backyard of USA to attack the democratic governments in Latin America.
From this Festival, we are sending a clear message to the peoples and youth of Iraq and Afghanistan. We are by your side against the occupation done by NATO and USA. There is no true democracy without sovereignty, there can only be freedom if all foreign troops go back home and give to the peoples’ the possibility to build their own future.
Last but not least, from this Festival we will shout out loud to our neighbors of Swaziland and they will hear our words of solidarity and support in their struggle for the end of repression and persecutions, so that Swaziland can become a truly democratic country.
Just one month ago we celebrated the 65 years of the World Federation of Democratic Youth. This Festival, the joy in the participants and the worldwide massive character of the mobilization, are an irrefutable proof that our age doesn’t makes us old, but more accurate.
As years go by and our struggles continue we are even more sure that to defeat imperialism is not only a wish or a will, but in fact a need of the peoples and youth of the world. Only by defeating imperialism we can have a world of lasting peace, of solidarity among the peoples irrespective to their origin and of social transformation, where our rights are respected and we can live in a truly developed and fair world.
Fellow comrades and friends,
My last words are to the South African authorities, people and youth movement. On behalf of all participants, of the International Organizing Committee and the leadership of the World Federation of Democratic Youth we very much thank you for hosting us. We thank you for recognizing in us your historical allies to fight imperialism and give us the possibility to come to this beautiful land of freedom to celebrate our victories, share our experiences and make our movement even stronger, so that as South is now free, one day all countries and all peoples can also be free!
Youth unite for lasting peace! United we shall win!
It is a great pleasure and honour for me to agree to the request that you made for me to send a message to the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students that is taking place in the Homeland of Nelson Mandela, the living symbol of the struggle against the odious apartheid system.
Cuba hosted two world festivals: the 11th in 1978 and the 14th in 1997.
For the first time, the Festival ceased to be held in Europe and took place in a country in this hemisphere.
The decision was made by the 9th Assembly of the World Federation of Democratic Youth which was held in Varna, Bulgaria at the end of 1974.
Those were different times: the world was facing serious problems, but ones that were less dramatic. The more progressive youth was fighting for the right of all human beings to a decent life; the old dream of the greatest thinkers of our species when it was clear that science, technology, the productivity of labour and the development of consciousness was making it possible.
In a brief lapse of time, globalization accelerated, communications reached unsuspected levels, the means to promote education, health and culture multiplied. Our dreams were not without foundation. In that spirit, the 11th World Festival of Youth and Students took place and our people also took part in it.
At the General Council of the World Federation of Democratic Youth, held precisely in heroic South Africa at the beginning of October in 1995, it was approved to hold the 14th Festival in Havana; 12,000 delegates from 132 countries would be taking part. Our country at that time had been struggling for almost 37 years in the political and ideological battle against the empire and its brutal economic blockade.
Until the decade of the 1980s, not only were the Peoples’ Republic of China, the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea in existence who had been withstanding genocidal wars and the crimes of the Yankees, but also the socialist bloc in Europe and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics, an enormous multinational State with 22,402,200 square kilometres, enormous resources of agricultural lands, forests, oil, gas, minerals and more. Face to face with the imperialist superpower, with its more than 800 military bases deployed throughout the planet, the socialist superpower was surging.
The dissolution of the USSR, whatever the errors may have been at one or another moment in history, constituted a rough blow to the world’s progressive movement.
The Yankees moved quickly and spread their military bases and the use of facilities constructed by the USSR in order to encircle more tightly, with their war machinery the Russian Federation which continued to be a great power.
The military bravado of the United States and its NATO allies increased in Europe and Asia. They unleashed the Kosovo War and disintegrated Serbia.
Within the area of our hemisphere, even before the collapse of the USSR, they invaded the Dominican Republic in 1965; they bombed and intervened in Nicaragua with mercenaries; their regular troops invaded Grenada, Panama and Haiti; they promoted bloody military coups in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay and supported Stroessner’s brutal repression in Paraguay.
They created the School of the Americas where they were not only training thousands of Latin American officers in conspiracies and coups d’état, but they were also familiarizing many with doctrines of hate and sophisticated torture practices while they were presenting themselves to the world as champions of “human rights and democracy”.
In the first decade of this century, the imperialist superpower appears to be overflowing its own riverbanks.
The bloody events of September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers of New York City were destroyed -a dramatic episode where around 3,000 persons lost their lives- and the subsequent attack on the Pentagon, fit like a glove on the hand of that unscrupulous adventurer George W. Bush for him to orchestrate the so-called war on terrorism that constitutes, simply, a dangerous escalation of the brutal policy that the US has been applying on our planet.
There has been more than sufficient proof of the embarrassing complicity of the NATO countries in such a reproachable war. That warmongering organization has just proclaimed its aim to intervene in any country in the world, wherever it feels that its interests, that is, US interests, are being threatened.
The monopoly on the mass media, in the hands of the huge capitalist transnationals, has been used by imperialism to sow lies, create conditioned reflexes and to develop egoistical instincts.
While the youth and students were travelling to South Africa to fight for a world in peace, with dignity and justice, in Great Britain university students and their professors were waging a pitched battle against the considerable and well-equipped repressive police who, on their spirited horses, were attacking them. There have been few times, and perhaps never, that we have seen such a show of capitalist “democracy”. The neoliberal governing parties, exercising their role of the police force of the oligarchy, betraying their electoral promises, passed measures in Parliament that raised the yearly fees for university students to $14,000. The worst of it all was the nerve with which the neoliberal parliamentarians stated that the “market was resolving that problem”. Only the rich had the right to a university degree.
A few days ago, the present US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, commenting on the secrets divulged by WikiLeaks stated: “The fact is, governments deal with the United States because it’s in their interest, not because they like us, not because they trust us, and not because they believe we can keep secrets. [...] some governments deal with us because they fear us, some because they respect us, most because they need us. We are still essentially, as has been said before, the indispensable nation”.
Not a few intelligent and well-informed people harbour the conviction that the Yankee Empire, like all those coming before it, has entered its final phase and that the signs are irrefutable.
An article published on the TomDispatch website, translated from English by the Rebelión website presents four hypotheses about the probable course of events in the United States, and in all of them, world war appears as one of the possibilities even though it does not exclude that there may be another option. It adds that definitely that country will lose its dominant role in world exports of goods and in less than 15 years it will lose its dominant role in innovative technology and the privileged function of the dollar as the reserve currency. It quotes that already this year China has reached 12% in comparison to the US 11% in world exports of goods and it mentioned the presentation in October of this year by the Chinese Minister of Defence of the Tianhe-1ª super-computer, something so powerful that, in the words of an American expert, “it wipes out the No. 1 machine” existing in the United States.
Our dear compatriots, upon arriving in South Africa, among their first activities, paid fully-deserved tribute to the internationalist combatants who gave their lives fighting for Africa.
Fort the last 12 years, in neighbouring Haiti, our medical mission provides its services to the Haitian people; today, with the cooperation of the internationalist doctors graduated from ELAM (the Latin American School of Medicine). They also fight there for Africa by doing battle against the cholera epidemic, the disease of poverty, to prevent its spreading to that continent where, just like in Latin America, there is a lot of poverty. With their acquired experience, our doctors have extraordinarily lowered the death rate. Very near to South Africa, in Zimbabwe, in August of 2008, that epidemic broke out “explosively”, according to the Harare “Herald”. Robert Mugabe accused the governments of the United States and Great Britain of introducing the disease.
As proof of the total lack of Yankee scruples, it is necessary to remember that the government of the United States delivered nuclear weapons to the apartheid regime; the racists were at the point of using them against Cuban and Angolan troops which, after the victory at Cuito Cuanavale, were advancing southward, where the Cuban command, having suspicions about that danger, adopted the pertinent measures and tactics to give them total control of the air space. If they should try to use such weapons, they wouldn’t have obtained victory.
But it is legitimate to wonder: what would have happened if the South African racists had used nuclear weapons against the Cuban and Angolan troops? What would the international reaction have been? How would such a barbaric act have been justified? How would the USSR have reacted? These are questions we must ask ourselves.
When the racists handed over the government to Nelson Mandela, they didn’t say a single word to him, nor did they say what they did with those weapons. Investigation and the denunciation of such events would be of great service to the world, at this time. Dear compatriots, I urge you to present this topic at the World Festival of Youth and Students.
Patria o Muerte!
Already more than 500 delegates from different countries from all over the world have registered as delegates to the Festival, as well as some thousands from South Africa.
The following two days the registration will continue moving on with an increasing number of delegates arriving until we reach the 13th of December, day of the opening ceremony of the Festival!
Check the video below!
Furthermore, the NPC of Venezuela took this opportunity to publicly anounce the invitation to comrade President Hugo Chavez, to take part in the activities of the Festival during the day of America.
Check the video for more information:
The Cuban authorities have just issued a commemorative stamp to celebrate the 17th World Festival of Youth and Students that will take place from the 13 to the 21 in Pretoria, South Africa.
In this stamp, already in circulation in the Island of the Revolution, that hosted two editions of the World Festival of Youth and Students, one can see the Festival logo as well as Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro, historical leaders of different expressions of the anti-imperialist movement to whom this edition of the Festival has been dedicated as an acknowledgment of their contribution to the struggle of the people, in general, and the young people in particular.
The purpose of the event have three fundamental ideas: first, to promote youth participation,the second promotion of culture in the street, in the meaning to create spaces permanent Cadiz where groups can play and advertise, and the third, to demonstrate that youth have social compromise, and this social compromise take shape on this issue in the promotion and dissemination of the World Festival of Youth and Students whose next edition, the seventeenth, will be held for the first time in an African country, South Africa.
The organizers took the opportunity to explain to the young people which assisted about the WFYS as global space and united anti-imperialist character, a youth meeting to share experiences and outline alternatives to neoliberal policies. The performances of the groups from Cadiz, ADS, Pollution, Knight and Bad Taste, concentrated to a large number of young in an entertaining and reivindicative evening.
You can check the video in the link below: