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18th World Festival, Ecuador

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Soviet cogitations: 3618
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 14 Dec 2013, 11:42
The Festival is over now. Having to prioritise domestic affairs, there was no Dutch delegation this time around, but I thought it would be interesting to post some articles and impressions anyway. Included are reports from various countries, the news about the presence of Elian Gonzalez, and whatever else might be of interest. Feel free to contribute other reports, pictures, and videos.

World Festival of Youth and Students

Next December, the 18th World Festival of Youth and Student will be celebrated in Quito, Ecuador. It is a political movement with a history of 66 years. The First Festival took place in 1947 in Prague. It was organized by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and its international partner organizations, in an effort to demonstrate the political will of the Youth that defeated Nazism to continue their efforts for everlasting peace and solidarity among the peoples. To achieve that, the participants adopted the ideal of the anti-imperialist struggle; because imperialism is the main cause of wars, misery and exploitation. They knew back then, as we know now that imperialism changes many faces and methods but its true nature stems from the economic system itself.

Since then, the struggle of the anti-imperialist movement set priorities as the anti-colonial struggle, the struggle against dictatorships, for civil rights, against racist regimes, military interventions etc. It supported the democratic, national liberation and progressive movements in every continent, in every country. It became a strong international movement demonstrating the friendship of the peoples and the internationalist solidarity. It raised the contemporary issues and struggles of the youth in each period. Nevertheless the constant and timeless struggle of the Festival movement was the struggle against the system itself, because we well know that imperialism is something more than military interventions or the expansionist will of one state or the other.

Therefore here today we are continuing this struggle with the same goal: To defeat imperialism in all its aspects. And even though the imperialist tactics and priorities have changed, the nature of imperialism didn’t change. History itself has proven correct our understanding of imperialism as a system, as the highest monopoly stage of capitalism. Therefore we base our struggle on the fact that imperialism is a global system where all the capitalist states take part, and hold their respective position according to their economic, political and military force.

The nature of imperialism has to do with the expansion of profit making of the monopolies. Based on this hunger for expansion of economic influence and maximizing their profits, the political choices of imperialism are made. The creation of wars, invasions, poverty, privatizations, exploitation of labor, inequality all lead to the conclusion that imperialism will stop at nothing to achieve their goals.

Today imperialism has various means to proceed with its plans. With alliances and organizations like NATO, the IMF the EU and other regional and international organizations but also with the support of national governments they serve the interests of the ruling classes.

Therefore there are some important things that the struggle of youth should adopt today: First of all that imperialism is not expressed by only the ruling class of one state. In contrary imperialism is the system serving the ruling class of each state, of each nation. Having this in mind we can be sure that the interests of the youth cannot be aligned with the interests of any imperialist, even if imperialists have contradictions between them. The youth must fight independently and autonomously together with the working class and popular movement of its country for its own interests.

This analysis and this fundamental discussion can lead to a more organized and more determined anti-imperialist movement. And in this goal the 18th World Festival will play a crucial role. The festival can be the space where the youth will proclaim that will fight for no one else than the rights of the peoples and the workers around the world for they are the ones that produce the wealth of this world. The Festival can be the space where the youth can feel the power in its hands to be the force of constructing the future of peace, solidarity and social transformation where the wealth of the world will belong to the ones that produce it.

Vietnam’s activities at 18th World Festival of Youth and Students

(VOVworld) – A forum calling for solidarity with Vietnam and joining the international anti-imperialism tribunal has been held as part of the ongoing World Festival of Youth and Students in Quito, Ecuador.

Tran Dac Loi of the Party Central Committee’s Commission for External Relations said Vietnam has been following an international integration policy of being ready to become a friend and reliable partner of countries around the world.

Representatives from India, Russia, Ukraine, Peru, and Venezuela praised the Vietnamese people’s achievements during Vietnam’s national construction and development.

The Vietnamese delegation participated in culture and sports exchanges with other countries and delivered speeches at festival workshops on poverty reduction and the preservation and development of every nation’s culture. ... qwvyCfNndo

18th World Festival of Youth and Students Opened in Ecuador
Pyongyang, December 10 (KCNA) -- The 18th World Festival of Youth and Students was opened with due ceremony in Quito, Ecuador on Dec. 7

Present at the opening ceremony were youth and student delegates from 83 countries including the DPRK, Cuba, Syria, India, Vietnam, Greece, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, delegates of international and regional organizations including the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the World Peace Council and honorary guests, more than 5,000 persons in total.

Speeches were made there.

The speakers, underlining the importance and significance of the festival, called upon the young people to invigorate the anti-imperialist struggle.

The youth and students are faced with the task to shatter the imperialists' moves for domination and interference, they said, appealing to the progressive young people across the world to get firmly united in the struggle against imperialism.

The Ecuadorian president in a congratulatory address called upon the world progressive youth to take the lead in frustrating all intrigues of the imperialists against the anti-imperialist independent countries. ... -16ss.html

Elian Gonzalez slams U.S. embargo against Cuba

By Andres Lopez. Cindy Y. Rodriguez and Patrick Oppmann, CNN
December 11, 2013 -- Updated 1835 GMT (0235 HKT)

Quito, Ecuador (CNN) -- One name stands out on the guest list of thousands of youth at a conference in Ecuador this week: Elian Gonzalez.

Fourteen years after he made headlines as the subject of a bitter international custody battle, Gonzalez spoke to CNN on Tuesday.

It's his first trip abroad since the U.S. government removed him at gunpoint from his relatives' home in Miami and, after a legal battle, sent him back to Cuba to live with his father.

Gonzalez, who turned 20 last week, was just 6 years old when he was found clinging to an inner tube after the tiny boat he was traveling in from Cuba sank on the way to the United States. Gonzalez's mother and nine other people in the boat drowned.

He had harsh words for the United States on Tuesday as he recalled his mother's deadly journey.

"Just like her, many others have died attempting to go to the United States. But it's the U.S. government's fault. Their unjust embargo provokes an internal and critical economic situation in Cuba," Gonzalez said.

"But, despite that, Cuba, even with all its problems has progressed over the years. The progress we've made is all thanks to Cuba's courage, our dignity, our continued fight for a more just model."

Gonzalez is in Quito, Ecuador, for the World Festival of Youth and Students, a left-wing conference attracting more than 10,000 people from all over the world to discuss global struggles against imperialism.

He told CNN en Español that he has been asked to speak at the conference, but isn't quite sure what his topic will be.

"My topic could range anywhere from the lifting of the unjust blockade on Cuba to the freedom of the 'Cuban Five.' The main reason we're here is because we want a revolutionary progressive movement that leads to socialism," he said.

The five Cubans imprisoned in the United States are convicted on charges of espionage, but are considered heroes in Cuba because many believe they prevented acts of terrorism on the island.

After his rescue in 1999, Gonzalez was placed with relatives in Miami, who wanted to keep him in the United States.

But Gonzalez's father, Juan Miguel, fought to bring him back to Cuba. Then-Cuban leader Fidel Castro led massive protests in Cuba demanding Gonzalez's return. The case of the telegenic boy became a flashpoint between supporters and opponents of Castro's revolution.

As the two sides fought the high-profile case in court, U.S. immigration officials decided to put Gonzalez in the custody of his father, who had come to the United States to argue for Elian's return. His relatives in Miami refused to go along, and armed U.S. federal agents then raided the home of Gonzalez's uncle and seized the boy.

Some experts at the time worried Gonzalez would suffer a lifetime of trauma as a result of the dispute, or become a political pawn for the Cuban government.

After Gonzalez's return to Cuba, the government there celebrated a political victory but largely kept Gonzalez out of public view and surrounded by government bodyguards.

But the case had an undeniable impact on Gonzalez's life. Fidel Castro attended his 7th birthday party. His father went from being a waiter to being a member of the country's national assembly.

Now he studies engineering at a military school in Cuba and appears to be emerging as a new spokesman for the Cuban government.

When asked by CNN en Español to describe what his life has been like since he left Miami, Gonzalez said "magnificent." In Cuba, he said, everywhere he goes he feels the love and support of his fellow Cubans.

"I haven't suffered any consequences because of what happened. It has not affected me psychologically, but it has been hard for my family," Gonzalez said. "Those were tough times."

Journalist Andres Lopez reported from Quito. CNN's Cindy Y. Rodriguez reported from New York. CNN's Patrick Oppmann reported from Havana. ... interview/

Loads of pictures, videos and updates from Red Youth, the youth organisation of the CPGB-ML (yeah, I know, but at least they keep us updated):
User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 11879
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 06 Dec 2009, 23:17
Post 17 Dec 2013, 17:05
Who paid for this and why?
Why was it held in Ecudaor and not somewhere else? Why would the Ecuadorean state be interested in hosting something like the WF which was until 1989 i think, held only in people's democracies and the USSR?
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Soviet cogitations: 3837
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 12 Jun 2006, 02:14
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 17 Dec 2013, 17:54
This was organized by the International Comitee (of the festival, I think) and the Ecuadorian government.

In order to assist, you were charged 80 dollars (if you were going from South America) or 100 euros (if you were from Europe or Asia). This went to the International Comitee, and who knows what they'll use it on, because all the expenses of the festival were paid by the Ecuadorian government. The government spent over 4 million dollars, and that is without listening to the Comitee's request that party high executives were to be received at 5 stars hotels (yes, they demanded that).

Alianza Pais thought they could have a say in the topics to be treated on the festival, so that the youths could discuss important issues on current affairs. But it seems that the International Comitee refused and the festival was reduced to a nice get-together, shallow meeting.
So, it's unlikely any other progressive southamerican government will organize the next one. The Comitee has its eyes on Russia (due to the 100th anniversary of the Revolution) or Vietnam.

Anyway, not only communist youths were there, many left-wing progressive youth movements went there too.

All this coming from one of my mates who went there.

"Where Argentina goes, Latin America will go".
Leonid Brezhnev

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User avatar
Soviet cogitations: 3618
Defected to the U.S.S.R.: 22 Oct 2004, 15:15
Ideology: Marxism-Leninism
Post 17 Dec 2013, 20:07
Loz wrote:
Who paid for this and why?
Why was it held in Ecudaor and not somewhere else? Why would the Ecuadorean state be interested in hosting something like the WF which was until 1989 i think, held only in people's democracies and the USSR?

I don't know about the financial details (I would be very careful about rumours about 5-star hotels and things like that, but who knows?). Anyway, during the Cold War, the Festival was also once organised in Vienna, although you're generally right. After 1989, it was held in Algeria, Cuba, Venezuela and South Africa. The South African festival was organised after an attempt to organise it in Belarus failed. I gather that the speed with which this edition was organised was rather surprising.

As to why a government specifically would want to organise the Festival, I could not possibly comment, but it is good to bear in mind that not only communist organisations attend. I should think that any of the vaguely anti-imperialist governments would have an interest in organising this sort of thing.
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