Sunday, May 24, 2009

Join the IFCO/Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba this July

a note from the blog author -- last year was such an incredible experience, i'm going again this year!  see you on the road ...

Many people seem to think that big changes in US-Cuba policy have already taken place! But the truth is that  - except for Cuban American family travel - nothing has really changed.  
The blockade is still in place. Hurricane reconstruction supplies and other essential goods are still prohibited to come from the US. The travel ban is still in place. Cuba is still on the US government‚s terrorist list while the real anti-terrorists, the Cuban 5, remain in prison. Guantanamo Bay remains illegally occupied.
A few weeks ago there was a flurry of statements from Latin American presidents, US politicians on both sides of the House, business leaders, retired US generals, and to a degree President Obama, saying it is time for the US to change policy on Cuba. Signatures are being gathered in both houses of Congress for a bill that would enable ALL US citizens to freely travel to Cuba (House bill HR 874 / Senate bill S 428). It is clear that there has never been such potential for ending the 48 year old travel ban and blockade .
But in recent weeks it has gone quiet, and the White House and US State Department have been making discouraging noises about any further steps on their part. It is clear that nothing further will happen without a lot more pressure from the grassroots. Which is why we are organizing our 20th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba this July to both express our solidarity and build momentum and pressure for a radical policy change.
We will spend 9 days visiting Cuba as it is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the revolution while slowly rebuilding from the 3 devastating hurricanes that hit the island in the Fall of 2008.  We will be donating more than a hundred tons of humanitarian aid to help with hurricane reconstruction, as well as up to 10 school buses and trucks and, as Fidel would say, millions of tons of love and solidarity.
This caravan will have 14 routes stopping in 140 cities throughout the US and Canada. At every stop we will be talking to local people and local media about the need to lobby their elected representatives for a new Cuba policy. And when we cross the border into Mexico, bound for Cuba, we will be making a direct challenge to US policy ˆ taking ourselves and the aid to Cuba without a US government license. The more people - the bigger the statement we are making.
SO ˆ we are calling on our supporters to make this the year that you come to Cuba with us.
JOIN US when a vehicle passes through your city sometime between July 3rd and 17th -  or meet us down in Texas on July 18th as we start preparations for crossing the border. We will be in Cuba July 24th ˆ Aug 2nd and we will proudly cross back into Texas the morning of August 3rd
To get an application form or further information
Call 212-926-5757

418 West 145th Street, 3-FL.
New York NY 10031
tel: 212.926.5757 - fax 212.926.5842 - e-mail