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The 16th World Festival of Students and Youth - An Historic Event in the Making

Hands Off Venezuela Campaign
The 16th World Festival of Youth and Students - An Historic Event in the

By Karl Belin

This August, Caracas, Venezuela will be home to the 16th World Festival of
Youth and Students, a festival of politics, art, and culture. The meeting
will be held from the 7th to the 15th and will be a convergence of young
students and workers from across the globe, united behind the slogan "For
peace and solidarity, we struggle against war and imperialism!" This is a
chance for people to see the revolutionary process first hand, on the
grass-roots levels with the revolutionaries of the Venezuelan Bolivarian

It is a great event to look forward to, but the work towards building the
festival begins here at home.It is the job of progressive youth in America
to take the initiative into their own hands and form their delegation. We
have already elected a national steering committee and formed a nation-wide
network of Local Organizing Committees (LOCs). We must now expand this
network and make it a broad basis on which to form our national delegation.

There are steps that we must take to ensure a successful festival and a
successful alliance with young workers and students around the world. We
must continue to build broad and democratic LOCs, keep up public promotion
of the WFYS, and look at the festival itself not as the final event, but as
the spring board to the promotion of revolution across Latin America and the

The process of creating a broad, democratic LOC is easy. In many cases, it
is the job with the most instant gratification. For example, the LOC in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began with four people. They quickly began
promoting the festival among friends and their own political circles and the
LOC began to expand. As the committee began to amass more and more
individuals, the membership chose to take the route of getting support from
groups on the local campuses. They began making regular appearances at the
many political events taking place in the city sponsored by these groups,
and flyering among the rank and file. They also got involved with helping
others build delegation committees, by making road trips to various campuses
around the state and working with students there directly to help build an
Now, there are two consolidated committees in Western and Central
Pennsylvania because of this work, and many more fledgling delegations in
the making. This is a prime example of how to build an LOC and to promote
the festival.

Local organizing committees and promotion of the festival are great things
to get involved with, yes, but what happens after the festival in September?
What about a year from now? What will we do with the bonds we forge at the
WFYS, what will we do to really fight against war and imperialism when we
get back home? We must actively get involved with defending the revolution
in Venezuela, Latin America, and the world! The Hands Off Venezuela campaign
has been analyzing the revolution for years now and is working on the
ground with the participants.

This festival is only the beginning. It is an
opportunity to open the door to a broader democratic forum for the
revolutionary youth and workers of the world. Let's take the slogan of the
WFYS one step further. Let our rallying cry be "In solidarity with the
Venezuelan and world revolutions, we struggle against war and imperialism!"

This is the time for building. This is the time of constructing the basis
for our World Revolution, building our forces, and opening channels of
communications. This August, the first brick is laid. It will take active
participation and careful attention to detail to build for the festival and
beyond. See you all in Caracas!

For more information on the WFSY and the Hands Off Venezuela Campaign, visit

homepage: homepage: http://www.handsoffvenezuela.org