Cuba invites you to the World Festival of Youth and Students, to be held from 28 July-5 August 1997 all over Cuba!
From the first briefing bulletin, July 1996 Appeal to the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students
Within the space of a few years, major changes in the world, from politics to economy, from technology to ecology, have put old and new challenges on humanity, and especially on the youth.
The need to meet, to discuss our concerns, to make our situations, our hopes and our struggles known, to demonstrate our solidarity, is more valid than ever.
Their is no way to achieve that common goal other than overcoming all that divides us and prevents us acting together regardless of sex, race, religion or ideology.
All those issues now concerning youth are in our hands to be properly addressed by our generation: global problems, peace, security, sovereignty, self-determination, anti-imperialist solidarity, development, poverty, environment, migration, democracy, participation, human rights, employment, education, health, AIDS, drugs, violence, racism, xenophobia, discrimination, gender, culture, sport, communications and other affairs linked to the very existence and struggle of young people.
Taking into consideration the need to preserve and renew the spirit of the world festival movement and the readiness of the youth and students’ organisations of Cuba, we the undersigned, in response to the increasing demands of the youth of the world, express our will to continue this tradition and to start the preparations towards the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students to be held in the summer of 1997 in Cuba.
We convene all local, national, regional and international youth and students organisations, NGOs, institutions and individuals to contribute to the preparatory process of the Festival with the idea of building up together a broad, democratic and successful event on equal basis for all participants, by the youth and for the youth. Join us in the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students in Cuba in 1997!
Speech of UJC First Secretary, Victoria Velazquez on 1 May 1996
To youth from all over the world!
To all the Cuban people!
To all those in every part of the planet who love freedom, equality and justice!
The end of the century is not the end of history!
The world is refusing to be the property of the powerful who never cease drawing us theories to bring man to his knees.
The planet now days has two big hemispheres, which are very pronounced and distant. Opulence and poverty are different. The ages of the ones who die in the South and the North are different. Children’s diseases are different, and the hospitals and the medicines of one and others are different. The access to the learning process that permits domination of the secrets of science and letters for understanding the universe is different. And our possibilities and ways to rule our destinies are different.
Justice is still that far horizon. But to advance towards this justice is a possible utopia.
Regarding this peculiar geography, there are many affairs that we are interested in, and instead of dividing us, they unite us. Because, at the end of the century, the dreams of humanity have not ceased, nor has the fight for a better future, and hopes are increasing.
Because of this we are convening the World Youth and Students Festival, to be held in the summer of 1997 in Cuba.
A broad, representative and numerous group of youth, student, national, regional and international organisations wishing to continue the festival’s tradition will find here a door open to their dreams.
For Cuba is to live again the unforgettable days of 1978, when we also celebrated the World Festival. Now as then, ‘We are going to walk with all flags, entwined in such a way that no one will walk alone.’ The most diverse subjects will be freely expressed: the harassed themes of democracy, peace, security, sovereignty and self-determination in this unpopular world will have a stage in our homeland.
We will debate about education and health, including AIDS, drugs and violence, women, employment, problems of the environment and sustainable development, the present situation of the youth and student world movement, childhood, culture and sport, solidarity and international co-operation, and as many themes as young people come with ideas and opinions.
We will raise our voices to condemn racism, xenophobia and imperialism. We are a poor country, but rich in kindness: we have a lack of natural resources, but a lot of human and revolutionary resources. You won’t find luxury here, but a lot of love.
The Festival will be self-financed with the contribution of each participant and with the elaboration of an international solidarity fund that facilitates the attendance of delegates from the Third World. Cuban youth and student organisations have started a broad process of contacting similar organisations. We have found enthusiasm, support and a will to carry out this idea. Youth from all over the world, we will meet in socialist Cuba in 1997, in this part of America that Jose Marti loved so much. From 30 years ago, when the example of Che began to walk with humanity - until the victory!
The first international preparatory meeting for the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students took place in Belgium in April. It issued the statement which appears at the top of this page, set up a working group to co-ordinate activities in different countries, issued a monthly bulletin and began to identify possible financial sources for the Festival. It was attended by the Arab Youth Union, Latin American and Caribbean Continental Organisation of Students, European Students Information Bureau, World Federation of Democratic Youth, Co-ordination of Democratic Youth, Cuban National Co-ordinating Committee. Preparation committees are already meeting in Africa (attended by representatives of 35 states), Europe (with at least 19 countries participating), Latin America, Asia and the Caribbean.
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