International student day, symbol of youth courage

International student day, symbol of youth courage

Heritage & Traditions

By Mercy Ramos

As every year, International Student Day is celebrated this Tuesday, November 17, in remembrance of the young Czechs who lost their lives in their heroic struggle against Hitler's fascism in the streets of Prague in 1939.

On the 15th, the first two victims were buried, which provoked large student protests in the Czech capital and many other cities, with the fateful fascist response that unleashed in the harassment and massacre of young people in numerous educational centers and schools.

As a consequence, 9 students were shot and more than 1,200 were taken to the Sachsenhausen-Oranieburg concentration camp (Brandenburg, Germany).

For this reason, in memory of his brave gesture, the International Student Council that later became the International Student Union (ISU) declared that date in 1941 as International Student Day, an anniversary that is celebrated in more than 114 countries around the world.

In Cuba, although 148 years ago, 8 students of the first year of Medicine at the University of Havana were shot under the false accusation of having scratched the grave of Spanish journalist Gonzalo Castañón. This fact was presented by Spanish colonialism as an exemplary punishment and warning to Cubans who were then fighting for their independence.

More recently, during the Batista dictatorship, dozens of students were shot, tortured and jailed for defending their people’s right to freedom. 

The largest of the Antilles, as on other occasions, also celebrates the anniversary, although this time in a unique way due to health measures adopted throughout the country due to the new coronavirus that affects the world.

In his official Twitter account, the Cuban President, Miguel Díaz-Canel, sent a message to all the students of the country in his day: “Congratulations to all those who study, which is the most noble, challenging and enriching task of life.”

Meanwhile, in a letter on the occasion of the celebration, the minister of the sector Dr. Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella, highlighted the efforts of the Cuban  tudents that, despite the stage of confrontation with the Covid-19, the educational activity continues adapted to the current circumstances.

Congratulations to all Cuban and world students, on behalf of Cubaplus magazine, on your day. #Student Day.