Red Youth arrive in Quito for the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students 2013

Red Youth delegates have received a warm welcome in Quito, landing at midnight local time (5AM UTC) after a marathon 24 hour journey.

Delegate Pack, 18 WFYS, Quito, Ecuador
Delegate Pack for the 18th World Festival of Youth and Students, Quito, Ecuador

So far, we are the only members of the British delegation to have arrived, and – although the defunct Brit National Preparatory Committee have not passed on our registration fees – Red Youth delegates have successfully registered.

Delegates who have already arrived are enjoying the buzz of the festival grounds, which are being prepared for the opening ceremony at 12:30pm (17:30 UTC) tomorrow, in the beautiful and expansive Parque Bicentenario, repurposed from the old Quito airport.

Parque Bicenteniario, Quito, Ecuador

The Festival’s slogan is “Youth united against imperialism, for a world of peace, solidarity and social transformation.”

During our short time in Quito, as well as enjoying the warm hospitality of the Ecuadorian people, members of the British delegation have already had the chance to meet with and talk to many other youth delegations from across the world, including Canada, the USA, Argentina, Russia, and Germany.

While travelling to Ecuador, Red Youth delegates were much saddened to hear of the death of Nelson Mandela, former leader of the African National Congress and central committee member of the South African Communist Party, who became one of the great symbols of the South African masses in their arduous struggle against the vicious, racist, colonial-settler apartheid regime.

Mandela and Hani
Nelson Mandela and People’s Hero Chris Hani

We send our condolences to the people of South Africa, who held him in such high regard as the first president of a non-racist South Africa, to his party comrades, his family, and the freedom-loving people of the world, who admired his articulate and self-sacrificing championing of the cause of equality and freedom.

We note with Mandela’s passing, that the ‘Freedom Charter’ –  the document that promised the redistribution of the wealth of South Africa, including its minerals, and its land, to the hungry and impoverished South African masses – remains unfulfilled; and that the struggle which he embodied during much of his adult life, remains to be fought and won.  South Africa’s workers and peasants look to their neighbour Zimbabwe as the model for solution to their poverty; one of many facts about Mandela and South Africa that all the press coverage of Madiba’s death is anxious to brush aside.

We are excited and privileged to be able to attend the festival with so many of our fellow optimistic and active youths from across the globe, all here to talk about how we can make the world a better place and achieve a future free from imperialism, exploitation, poverty, unemployment, famine, and war.

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