Sources: Granma, Prensa Latina
March 26, 2015
During a Youth Forum entitled ‘Youth and the Americas we want’ held yesterday, March 25, Cuban students, and young workers, artists and social leaders discussed their realities, offering opinions and proposals to be shared at the upcoming Seventh Summit of the Americas Youth Forum, to be held in Panama, April 8-10, which Cuba will be attending for the first time.
Debates took place at various sites at the University of Havana and presented at the Pabellón Cuba were panel discussions on several topics including security, the environment, education, health, democratic governing and citizen participation.
Cuban Civil Society
Two weeks ago, on March 17, Cuban Civil Society held a similar event where issues such as democratic governance and citizen participation were addressed in preparation for the Civil Society Forum of the Summit.
In the discussions, religious leader Orlando Gutierrez expressed his solidarity with Venezuela as they faced the hostile US policy and demanded respect for the Bolivarian Constitution and the right of the South American country to self-determination.
Opportunities for youth in Cuban society
Journalist Yoerky Sánchez outlined the many opportunities that were open to Cuban youth to participate in the political life and the process of decision-making in their nation based on the characteristics of the electoral system of the island, which allows youth to be elected as councillors at the age of 16 and as deputies at 18.
Joel Suarez from the Martin Luther King Memorial Center proposed to highlight the contributions of the constitutions of countries such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador in terms of democracy and citizen rights.
Participation of workers in Cuban society
In trade union matters, Heriberto Gonzalez, member of the America’s Office of the World Trade Unions Federation, highlighted the participation of Cuban workers in the social life of the country and the fact that their rights were guaranteed.
Participants also recommended that their representatives at the Summit raise the need to continue the fight against the economic blockade imposed for over half a century to Cuba by the United State, despite the international rejection.
In addition to democratic governance and citizen participation in this Cuban Civil Society Forum, other issues such as Migration, Security, Energy, Environment, Health and Education were also addressed.
Cuba’s achievements in education and health
Cuba’s achievements in education and health, recognized worldwide, would not be possible without the joint participation of actors and social organizations, scientific societies and professional associations, said Jaime Gomez, moderator of a working group based in Casa del ALBA Cultural.
With this forum, the Cuban civil society aims to encourage reflection and make recommendations to the national delegation representing Cuba in Panama, as well as to generate concrete actions to address the current challenges in the Americas.
Cuban Civil Society Debates Towards Seventh Summit of the Americas Prensa Latina
Cuba’s Youth Offers its perspectives on the Americas Granma