The World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) is a gathering held in various locations, at irregular intervals, once every few years. The Festival’s purpose is to provide a forum where radical leftists can network, strategize, and cheerlead for their goal of World Communism and the destruction of the United States. The first WFYS was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1947. The sixteenth and most recent Festival was held from August 7-15, 2005 in Venezuela.
The WFYS is, and always has been, sponsored by the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY). An FBI report, Soviet Active Measures in the United States 1986-1987, categorically called the WFDY a “Soviet front organization.” According to the FBI, the goal of such get togethers is “to recruit individuals who may eventually acquire positions where they are able to collect intelligence information … or otherwise be useful.”
The WFYS has never been held in the United States. As a Communist operation run for the purpose of encouraging revolution, it was usually hosted — prior to the USSR’s demise — by totalitarian Communist countries under Soviet domination. At various times, the WFYS was celebrated in Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary and Poland.
In 1957 and in 1985 the WFYS was held in Moscow. At the latter, some 550 U.S. citizens were in attendance. The 1973 WFYS was held in Communist East Germany. Among the speakers and honored guests were Yasser Arafat and longtime American Communist Angela Davis.
The first and only time the WFYS was held in an Asian country was 1989, when the Festival organizers chose Communist North Korea as the site for their event; their slogan that year was “For Anti-Imperialist Solidarity, Peace and Friendship.”
The 11th and 14th WFYS gatherings were held in Cuba in 1978 and 1997, respectively. The latter was dedicated to Che Guevara.
The 2005 Festival was held in Hugo Chavez’s Venezuela. The steering committee for the event included: Medea Benjamin‘s Global Exchange; Bolivarian Circles, Hugo Chavez‘s private militia (whose American attaché was organized by Ramsey Clark‘s International Action Center, a sub-division of the Workers World Party); MeChA; the National Youth and Student Peace Coalition (a front organization for anti-American propaganda run by high members of the Communist Party USA); the United States Student Association; Venceremos Brigade; and the Young Communist League.
The program for the 2005 Venezuela festival featured such highlights as: a workshop on the “violation of human rights and capitalism”; a conference titled “Revolutionary Latin America: What’s on the Horizon?”; a seminar titled “Economic Terrorism against People: Blockades, Sanctions and Embargos” (largely a denunciation of America’s allegedly “terrorist” policy towards Cuba); “Solidarity Day with the Middle East,” replete with anti-American and anti-Israel seminars; a day devoted to a “World Free of Nukes!” theme; and on the final day, August 15, a march in honor of Venezuelan President Chavez.
This profile is adapted from a 2005 report on the WFYS by Christopher D. McCarthy.