Campaign for Peace with Cuba Hosts Pastors for Peace Solidarity Caravan
summary: Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan stops in Portland, hosted by Campaign for Peace with Cuba. Caravan will directly challenge US embargo, plans to return to US with Cuban-made goods for US communities. Watch for U.S.-Mexican border challenge in coming days . . .
Portland's Campaign for Peace with Cuba Hosts Pastors for Peace Solidarity Caravan
Campaign for Peace with Cuba on Sunday 7 July hosted members of Pastors for Peace's 10th annual Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba. Three Canadians from Victoria British Columbia and a health worker from Sacramento, California were guests of Campaign for Peace with Cuba for a festive and informative evening presentation and an overnight stay.
* * * * *
Non-Violent Challenge to US Embargo of Cuba
Group Plans to Return to US with Cuban-made Goods for US Communities
Hundreds of volunteers from across the United States, Mexico, Canada
and Europe, including a contingent of youth and health care workers,
marked the July 4th holiday with the beginning of a humanitarian aid caravan to Cuba to draw attention to the harsh effects of the US-government's 42-year-old economic embargo against the Caribbean island.
Starting July 4th, volunteers embarked along ten separate routes across the country, stopping in 100 US cities collecting 60 tons of humanitarian aid, including ambulances and school busses, donated by churches, schools
and community groups. The caravan will attempt to deliver millions of
dollars of medicines, computers, and medical equipment - all without a US
Treasury license. This thirteenth US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan is organized by Pastors for Peace, a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), as a challenge to what organizers call an "immoral law" designed to create pain and suffering for innocent Cuban citizens.
"What better way to celebrate Independence Day than to exercise our right as US citizens to travel to Cuba and to stand in support of the Cuban
people who have been brutalized by our government's mean-spirited embargo policy," said Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., founder and executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace.
As part of what they call a "reverse challenge", project organizers say the
caravan, dedicated to health and healing, will celebrate both Cuba's
achievements in healthcare and carry back health related products made in
"We are especially excited about this new aspect of this people-to-people
challenge, " said Walker. "By bringing much needed humanitarian aid
manufactured in Cuba, but not available in the US, we will be able to
alleviate some of the ill effects that the US embargo has on the people of the United States."
IFCO/Pastors for Peace began organizing these Friendshipment caravans to Cubain 1992 and has delivered more than 2200 tons of urgently needed
assistance to the Cuban people. This will be the first Friendshipment since the Bush Administration began cracking down on US citizens who travel to the island.
"We have no way of knowing how the Bush Administration will react," said
Walker. "We continue to believe that as neighbors, we have a right and a
responsibility to stand by the Cuban people and to ensure them that there are many people in the United States and abroad who vehemently oppose
our government's mean-spirited policy toward Cuba."
While many groups apply for US Treasury Department licenses to
deliver small quantities of aid to Cuba, IFCO/Pastors for Peace believes licensing is a US government ploy to legitimize a harsh and inhumane policy which endangers the lives of the Cuban people.
"The US government attempts to paint a pretty face on its genocidal
policy through the licensing of humanitarian aid. As people of faith and
conscience, it is our duty to expose this lie," said Walker.
The ten legs of the caravan will converge in San Antonio, Texas on July 15.
From there the caravan will travel to Mexico where the aid will be
loaded onto a freighter which will set sail for Cuba. Participants will arrive in Cuba on July 20 for a week-long series of meetings in various parts of the islanddesigned to provide a first-hand glimpse of today's Cuba and to promote people-to-people relations between the two countries. Caravan participants will meet with Cuba's leading biotechnology experts and visit the Latin American School of Medical Sciences where 38 US students are currently studying medicine on full scholarship from the Cuba government.
Kathryn Hall, who spoke at the Portland reception is the founder and
of The Center for Community Health & Well-Being, Inc., a holistic
social service agency that houses a comprehensive women's health
including substance abuse services; The Barber Shop (employment,
education and social support for fathers); Saturday Morning Beauty
(pregnancy prevention for adolescents) and the nationally acclaimed
Program. The Center is also the home of Birthing Project USA, a
for improving birth outcomes for high- risk women.
Recently, Ms Hall has participated in several special IFCO/Pastors
delegations to Cuba, which traveled to Havana and Cienfuegos for an
study of the Cuban health care system. The delegations visited
America School of Medicine and met with dozens of students from
world, including the US. Upon returning home to Sacramento,
Hall became involved in a unique Latin America Medical School
designed to recruit potential US students from the African-American,
and Native-American communities.
Ms. Hall has twenty years of experience as a public health
community health educator and advocate in the public and private
experience in understanding, translating and bridging policy,
services delivery and client cultures have earned her national
Kathryn Hall received her Baccalaureate (BA) and Masters of Public
(M.P.H.) at The University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and her
Divinity at Metaphorum Ministries.
* * * * * * * *
Campaign for Peace with Cuba also launched its new t-shirt featuring a
life-size smiling photo of Che with the expression in bold letters: "What
would Che do?" ; on the back is the quote "The true revolutionary is
guided by great feelings of love." -- Ernesto "Che" Guevara.
The short-sleeved t-shirts can be ordered from C4PWC by sending a
check for $14 to Campaign for Peace with Cuba P.O Box 3322, Portland, OR
97208. Specify size and color (tan, goldenrod, stone-washed blue, stone green, ecru, grey) Give your phone number so you can arrange for pickup. All orders prepaid, no mail orders. Long sleeved shirts are $18.
add a comment on this article