From: "Compa~ero" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 1997 17:13:03 -5
Havana, July 28(RHC)-- More than 10,000 delegates from all over the world are in the Cuban capital for the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students. The youth event was inaugurated this afternoon on the steps of the University of Havana with the opening words: "For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship."
Arriving at the University after a massive, colorful solidarity march, Namibian Jonah Cacheta of the Festival's International Coordinating Committee told the crowd that delegates from more than 100 countries had gathered at the foot of the historic staircase for the occasion. The African youth leader praised Cuba and her people, who despite a brutal U.S. blockade, "have dared to host a Festival for all of those who dream of a better world."
Jonah Cacheta made special mention of the bravery of the South Korean and U.S. delegations, whose members defied their governments' prohibition on travel to Cuba. He also paid homage to Heroic Guerrilla fighter Ernesto Guevara, whose colorful portraits looked over the crowd from the top of the majestic university's staircase.
Victoria Velazquez, leader of the Cuban Young Communist League, then took to the podium. She said that much has changed since the 1989 World Festival of Youth and Students held in Pyongyang, North Korea. She also paid tribute to the young people from the United States, announcing that it was the largest delegation to the 14th Festival -- with 740 members.
The Cuban youth leader stressed that the Festival would never have been possible without the support of 11 million Cuban people and the island's authorities. She announced that in all, Cubans and foreign residents have contributed 27 million pesos and 300,000 dollars to the event. Velazquez reminded the crowd that 55,000 Cubans had volunteered to host delegates in their homes. Finally, the leader of the Cuban Young Communist League said her country is willing to host the Festival again four years from now, if no other nation steps forward to do so.
The inauguration ended with the music of Cuba's top New Song Movement founders and performers -- including the great singer-song writer, Silvio Rodriguez.
The 14th World Festival of Youth and Students is, of course, receiving wide coverage here in Cuba on radio, television and the press. And it's a significant event for the young people taking part in the Festival; an event they will never forget.
The Western-dominated press and electronic media, however, are trying hard to ignore the Youth Festival -- giving little or no coverage to the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students. Observers say that the event is a thorn in the side of Washington and that by trying to pretend that it isn't happening, the U.S.-controlled news agencies hope the rest of the world won't notice.
Radio Havana Cuba... the Voice of the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students... will bring you continuous coverage of the youth event.
During the Festival -- which runs through August 5th -- young people from around the world will have the chance to engage in discussions on the problems that all youth face today. Democracy, human rights, children's rights, anti-imperialism, employment opportunities and the environment will be high on the festival's agenda. Cultural and sports activities are also among the youth event's main activities.
Prestigious Cuban institutions like Havana's Convention Center, the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute and the University of Havana will be the main centers of political discussion for the young participants.
The 14th World Festival of Youth and Students is dedicated to heroic guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara on the 30th anniversary of his death in combat in Bolivia.