By Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — After a week of political, cultural and social activities, the 19th edition of the World Festival of Youth and Students came to an end on Saturday October 21st in the spa town of Sochi in Russia, where a Cuban delegation of more than 250 young people took part making them the second largest group present after the host country’s own.
It’s astonishing that an event of this magnitude, where over 20,000 progressive young people from 150 countries took part has received such little coverage in the so-called great media, but this was to be expected as the Festival’s motto was: “For peace, solidarity and social justice, we struggle against imperialism. Honoring our past, we build the future!” And the entire event was dedicated to honoring Comandante Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara, which gave this festival of globetrotting youth a special tone and these aren’t the corporate media’s favorite subjects.
The Cuban delegation stood out as soon as it arrived in Sochi, where it was lauded with cries of “Viva Cuba! Viva Fidel!” And their participation was especially highlighted in all political and cultural activities. They stood out for the seriousness and maturity of their speeches and they stood out for the convening power Cuban music has at cultural events, which was performed by young artists who have been trained in art schools in our country.
One of the most highlighted activities on the Festival program was the Anti-Imperialist Court where many young people from different countries came to expose their problems and Imperialism’s responsibility for these.
Several young people from the Cuban delegation took part who exposed problems ranging from the harm that the imperialist blockade on Cuba has caused to the crimes committed by the world’s leading superpower’s agents and terrorist attacks orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
One of the accusing parties was Elian Gonzalez, who told the jury how, as a victim of the blockade and the Cuban Adjustment Act, he illegally left Cuba and headed for the United States with his mother when he was just five years old, and in the middle of that crossing the small boat he was on sunk.
He reminded those present that he lost his mother and that once on US soil, far from his father and his people, his rights and identity were violated.
“They violated everything that represented my Homeland, my feelings, my culture and all of this happened in this northern country and was backed by the government in Washington.
“Our crime has been sovereignty! Sovereignty was really won in January 1959! Our crime has been socialism!” he said with fervor.
He also mentioned the fact that the US government’s economic blockade on Cuba for nearly 60 years has been the greatest brake on Cuba’s progress and that it not only violates human rights on the island, but the entire world’s rights, whose citizens can be punished for trading with the Cuban nation.
Elian, a recent Industrial Engineering graduate, also spoke about the Barbados crime that took place in October 1976 when 73 people died on board a sabotaged aircraft, as well as the illegal US occupation of the Guantanamo Naval Base.
He also pointed out that the enemy has always insisted on using the youth as its main agents of change to make its plans to destroy the Cuban Revolution a reality and he said that that’s why this age group is being subjected to many different methods of subversion and influence.
On behalf of the heroic people of Cuba who have preferred to disappear rather than kneel down and betray the glory they have lived: I ask this court to condemn US imperialism for all of the human and financial damage it has caused my people!, said Elian firmly.
The kindness that the Cuban delegation inspired in people there was so great that the building where they stayed was always been visited by representatives from other countries who wanted to mix with the Cubans. And from now on, this building will be called Cuba.