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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Cold War and Communist Domination

Cold War and Communist Domination

The problems of the Cold War however soon caused a split in the World Federation of Democratic Youth, as this organisation was called, and Western countries withdrew from W.F.D.Y. in 1948, complaining that the organisation had fallen under Communist domination, was no longer Democratic and that they could no longer therefore support it.

I have no knowledge of the rights or wrongs of this withdrawal, but by having its beginnings in this manner WAY in may peoples' eye's became a pawn in the Cold War.

Strongest support for the new organisation came from America, which provided the largest share of the budget. Recent revelations have indeed indicated that some money that reached WAY came from the CIA through the Fund or for Youth and Student Activities, a front organisation that no longer exists.

As well as America the other strong influence in WAY came from Western Europe. Right throughout the 50's imto? tje ,od 60's WAY was an organisation dominated by Western Europe.

Yet with Third World Countries becoming independent and joinging WAY, it wasn't long before they began to question this European deomination and to press for a larger share in the power. As WAY changed from an organisation with a majority of European members to one dominated by Third World Countries, so their influence increased.

In 1972, at the Assembly held in Manchester, England, this clash came to a head, and control of WAY passed to an organised slate composed of a majority of Third World delegates.

This change was not accomplished peacefully, and bitter feeling was left after the conference, especially amongst the Europeans who found themselves no longer in control of the organisation.

Urgent fence mending was needed, but unfortunately, this did not happen.

Withdrawals of European countries, which had begun prior to 1972, accelerated, until as Sue Green has pointed out, today Britain remains as the only NYC still affiliated, although at the last Assembly, Gibralter was admitted, and Portugal, Spain and Greece all appear interested in joining.

Denmark has an affiliated WAY committee which includes most of the affiliated Youth Council members, apart from the Communist youth organisations who threaten to leaven the Danish Youth Council if that organisation ever affiliates with WAY. The WAY committee in Denmark provides that country with a means of overcoming this problem.