The old Soviet front, the World Federation of Democratic Youth is alive and well.
Since the late ’40s WFDY has organised triennial or quadrennial festivals for socialist youth.
From the CPUSA’s Peoples Weekly World
The General Council of the World Federation of Democratic Youth decided last weekend that Belarus would host the World Festival of Youth and Students in 2009. The goal of these festivals is to promote peace, international friendship and solidarity.
After nearly a year of consultations with each organization that bid to host the Festival, the Coordinating Committee decided Belarus has the necessary infrastructure and political climate to host it in 2009.
Belarus was a part of the former Soviet Union, bordering Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic States. It has a population of approximately 10 million, and considers itself a democratic social state.
WFDY organizations expressed enthusiasm about the festival being held in Eastern Europe where the struggles for socialism continue despite the fall of the Soviet Union.
President Bush has often demonized Belarus because the country has chosen to continue some of its socialist-oriented economy and not open itself up to unfettered corporate domination.
WFDY president Miguel Madiera noted, “We are very enthusiastic about this festival occurring in Europe. I think it will display the opposition of youth to the imperialist policies of the European Union.”
Now that the location is decided, WFDY officials will plan the first meeting of the International Preparatory Committee in the first half of this year in Venezuela. The first IPC is traditionally held in the country that hosted the previous festival. Preparations to host the first U.S. National Preparatory Committee meeting are also underway. The U.S. delegation to the 2005 festival in Venezuela consisted of over 700youth.
“It’s going to be a challenge to mobilize as many youth as we did in Venezuela,” said Erica Smiley who represented the Young Communist League USA at the WFDY meeting this weekend. “But it will be worth the effort to expose U.S. young people to current struggles of youth in Eastern Europe in addition to being a part of the historic festival movement.”
The YCL hopes to mobilize a wide representation of youth and student organizations to join the U.S. NPC.
This upcoming festival will be a continuation of a proud movement of world youth festivals that spans over 60 years.