The 14th US-Cuba Friendshipment caravan

Campaign News | Sunday, 20 July 2003

Interreligious Group to Deliver Aid from Cuba to Communities throughout the US

Interreligious Group to Deliver Aid from Cuba to Communities throughout the US

The 14th US-Cuba Friendshipment caravan, organized by IFCO/Pastors for

Peace, after successfully delivering 80 tons of humanitarian aid to Cuban

schools, churches, hospitals, and senior centers and other facilities, will

attempt on July 29 to cross the US-Mexico border carrying aid and products

manufactured in Cuba. The products are destined to be delivered to

communities in the US. The caravan will attempt to deliver the Cuban-made

aid as a challenge to the US blockade which prohibits normal trade between

US and Cuba.

The aid consists of a solar-panel for a Middle School in Buffalo NY to

provide solar power electricity, other goods include coffee, honey and bee

pollen products to be donated to homeless shelters in Wisconsin and other

community organizations across the US. These donations are a gift from the

people of Cuba to the people of the United States, as a symbol of good will

and friendship.

The 14th US-Cuba Friendshipment caravan will also challenge the travel

blockade that the US imposes on its citizens that wish to travel to

Cuba. More than 100 caravan participants traveled to Cuba without seeking

a US Treasury Dept license. They are joined in this challenge by the over

80 members of this year's Venceremos Brigade delegation, which will return

to the US on August 4, walking over the Peace Bridge to Buffalo, NY.

As part of the embargo enforcement, the US not only limits travel by US

citizens but also licenses specific shipments of minuscule quantities of

humanitarian aid while depriving the people of Cuba needed medicines, food,

educational materials and technology through normal commercial trade. "The

US government uses licenses to paint a pretty face on its genocidal policy.

As people of faith and conscience, it is our duty to resist and expose this

cruel contradiction," declared Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., Executive Director

and founder of IFCO, a 36-year old ecumenical agency.

"IFCO/Pastors for Peace rejects this licensing system as both immoral and

illegal. It is immoral because it endangers the lives of Cubans and

inflicts suffering on innocent children, as well as adults. It is illegal

under international law because it uses a sanction to be imposed only in

time of war against a declared enemy in order to force another nation to

change its government. Licensing is also unconstitutional because it

requires people of faith to submit their acts of conscience and friendship

to government licensing, in violation of our right to freedom of religious

expression, political though, association and travel," continued Walker.

Since 1992, IFCO/Pastors for Peace has delivered more than 2,250 tons of

urgently needed assistance to the Cuban people without seeking a US

Treasury license.


"Let us not love in word: but in deed and in truth." 1 John 3:18

IFCO/Pastors for Peace

402 W 145th Street, New York, NY 10031

212-926-5757; fax: 212-926-5842; web:

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