Venezuela-Cuba youth and student tour

During the July campus holidays, a dozen youth and students from Australia, England, South Africa and Mauritius will participate in the first Australian Youth and Student Revolutionary Tour of Venezuela and Cuba. The tour is an initiative of the campus-based Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity clubs in collaboration with the mass revolutionary youth organisations in Cuba and Venezuela — Cuba’s Union of Young Communists (UJC) and the youth organisation of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela led by President Hugo Chavez.

The tour aims to give Australian youth and students inspired by the revolutionary examples of Cuba and Venezuela a participant’s view of these people-power revolutions, a very different view to that of ordinary tourists. A packed agenda of guided tours of universities, factories, urban organic cooperative farms and other places of interest will allow tour participants to see these revolutions “from the inside” to better understand what a revolution involves and, hopefully, to be inspired to make an ongoing commitment to solidarity with these revolutions and to radical social change in our own countries.

For decades, the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society, in collaboration with Cuba’s Institute of Friendship with the Peoples, has organised an annual Australia-New Zealand Southern Cross solidarity “brigade” to Cuba during December-January (see advertisement on this page). The three-week-long brigade features a wide range of political, educational, solidarity and cultural activities. The Australia-Venezuela Solidarity Network organises annual solidarity brigades to Venezuela in November (see advertisement) and a trade union-focused brigade to coincide with Venezuela’s May Day celebrations, while the Maritime Union of Australia hosts an annual May Day brigade to Cuba.

The Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity clubs tour is unique in that it visits both Cuba and Venezuela, allowing participants to understand the similarities and differences between these sister revolutions and their close ties of solidarity, and is focused on the role of youth and students in these revolutions. It will appeal especially to youth and students who are keen to experience first-hand both revolutions as part of a single solidarity tour. Some participants are planning to stay on in Cuba until after the July 26 celebrations in Cuba commemorating the anniversary of the 1953 attack on the Moncada military garrison that launched the armed struggle against the US-backed Batista dictatorship.

The tour begins in Venezuela on July 8 and concludes in Cuba on July 23. The total cost of the tour, including airfares, is around A$4500. For more information contact the tour coordinators on 0413 158 480, 0402 071 897 or 0433 290 847.

[Marce Cameron is the president of the Sydney University Cuba-Venezuela Solidarity Club and a tour coordinator.]