This past 16th of July, in Parraga, Arroyo Naranjo (Havana) more than 30 activists celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, a youth-based group which promotes the respect of human rights and freedom in Cuba.
The ceremony began with the musical notes of the national anthem. Afterward, the attendees paid homage to the martyr Orlando Zapata amid strong applause and shouts of “Orlando Zapata Lives”, which were heard throughout the humble neighborhood. The president of CYMD, Eriberto Liranza Romero, declared, “Zapata must be remembered as an eternal youth, brave and always cheerful, and it was for the freedom and happiness of all Cubans that he fought for and gave his life“.
Hector Maseda, former political prisoner of conscience from the group of the 75 (Black Spring) attended the event and spoke to the young activists present: “We consider it to be fundamental that we ‘Old Pines‘ are passing on the so-longed desire of fighting for our country to you all, the ‘New Pines‘”.
Maseda also emphasized that, “due to the regime’s weakness in this timely moment, unifying with the Cuban social base, the youth, is crucial. If all of us who are against the tyranny unite, the goal is to resist right now, and then to transform, and later transit towards democracy“. The words from the President of the Cuban Liberal Party resonated well among the young activists in attendance, all of who cheered at the end of his speech, classifying it as “concrete, precise, and direct“.
Another moment of celebration for the young Cubans was when news was received that in Baracoa- in the Eastern region of the island- the Eastern Democratic Alliance also held celebrations for the 20th anniversary of CYMD with more than 40 participants. Meanwhile, in the city of Guantanamo various activists celebrated the anniversary as well.
A preview of the documentary, “CYMD: 20 Years of History”, was also shown and received excellent feedback from the youth. The film will display the principal actions carried out by CYMD, its sacrifice, and all its success under the much respected previous president, Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina, within the last 20 years.
Once the simple ceremony came to an end, these “New Pines” reaffirmed that Cuba’s freedom is an urgent compromise. “Today, we celebrate the 20 years of CYMD with much happiness, but we are also saddened by the suffering felt by Cubans who live without freedom, and of those who live in the diaspora with borrowed freedom“, expressed Liranza.
Report by CYMD Information Bureau. July 16th 2011.