The 22nd Friendshipment Caravan Caravan to Cuba: latest blog posts
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Pastors for Peace’s Donations Arrive in Cuba
2011.08.23 - 14:59:43 / email@example.com
HAVANA, CUBA.- Around 100 tons of donation collected by the 22nd Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba arrived today in Havana from the port of Tampico, Mexico.
The president of the donation distribution committee said the shipment contains medicines and disposable materials for health centers.
It also includes computers, school supplies, tools for trade schools, portable solar panels, musical instruments for music schools and eight vehicles.
Hernandez Marquez stressed the importance of Pastors for Peace’s humanitarian gesture and said it was an expression of love and respect for the Cuban people’s freedom and sovereignty.
She highlighted the need to keep up the work of the Caravan’s former leader Reverend Lucius Walker, who recently passed, and assured that the distribution is made in total transparency to guarantee that the help gets to those that need it the most.
The 22nd Pastors for Peace caravan arrived in Havana on July after touring 130 cities, from Canada to Tampico. During the trip, the caravanistas spread the truth about the Cuban situation and expressed their rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against the island.
The Pastors for Peace Caravan is a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, which since 1967 have worked for social, racial and economic justice inside and outside the U.S.
El vicepresidente cubano Esteban Lazo (al centro), Kenia Serrano (presidenta del Instituto de Amistad con los Pueblos) saludan al Rev. Raul Suarez Ramos, durante el homenaje a Lucius Walker, en el Memorial Jose Martí en la Plaza de la Revolución. Foto: Ismael Francisco Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo (center), Kenia Serrano (President of the Institute of Friendship with the People) and Rev. Tom Smith greet Rev. Raul Suarez Ramos, during the tribute to Lucius Walker, at the Jose Martí in Revolution Plaza in Havana. Foto: Ismael Francisco
REUTERS PICTURES July 30, 2011
A Cuban soldier holds an urn with the remains ofPastors for Peace leader Reverend Lucius Walkerduring a ceremony in Havana's Revolution Palace July 30, 2011. Pastors for Peace is a U.S.-based group opposed to the long-standing U.S. economic embargo against communist-ruled Cuba. The group has regularly organized the United States-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan deliberately challenging the U.S. embargo regulations by not seeking a license from the Treasury Department. Walker died in the U.S. September 7, 2010 at the age of 80 and his remains will rest in Cuba following his wishes.
Relatives of the Cuban Five Met with Members of the U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 28 (acn) The relatives of the five Cubans imprisoned in the U.S. for fighting terrorism met on Thursday in Havana with the members of the 22nd U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan.
Among some of the relatives present in the meeting held at the headquarters of the Cuban Friendship Institute (ICAP) were Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando Gonzalez; Irma Sehwerert, mother of Rene Gonzalez; Ailí Labañino, daughter of Ramon Labañino; and Candido Rene Gonzalez, father of Rene Gonzalez.
Irma Sehwerert, mother of Rene Gonzalez, said that they will always remember Rev. Lucius Walker because he was a tireless fighter for the release of the five antiterrorist fighters.
“Lucius will always be among us,” she said and added that he was always disseminating the truth about the case of the Five in the U.S., “attempting to break the wall of silence”.
Irma said that little by little “with everyone’s help, we will get the people in the U.S. to know about the truth behind Rene, Gerardo (Hernandez), Fernando, Ramon and Antonio (Guerrero)”. “There is a crack on that wall and it will soon be broken”, she added referring to the silence on the case.
The father of Rene Gonzalez, Candido, said that one of the problems in the U.S. is that the mass media has never reported the truth. “The trial in Miami,” said Candido, “was manipulated by the press. We learned that journalists in Miami were paid by the U.S. government to report against the Five”.
Rosa Aurora Freijanes, wife of Fernando Gonzalez, said that 13 years is enough. She stressed that Adriana, wife of Gerardo, and Olga Salanueva, Rene’s, have not been able to visit their husbands in prison because Washington continues to deny them entry visas.
A caravanista asked the relatives of the Cuban Five what can they do as solidarity activists to help get their release since practically all of the legal aspects of the case have been carried out. Rosa Aurora said that only with the help of international solidarity can the Five be released.
She recalled that this is a political issue and it’s been very hard for U.S. solidarity activists to break the silence on the case, but stressed that President Barack Obama has the executive power to pardon the Five.
Many people, she added, have written to the U.S. president and his wife Michelle Obama. Rosa Aurora pointed out that Barack and Michelle are both attorneys and enough pressure from the people of the U.S. can get them to understand the injustice and violations to U.S. and international law regarding the antiterrorist fighters.
Many caravanistas pledged to continue working in favor of the Cuban Five.
Many of them are activists in the International Committee to Free the Five and others belong to the U.S. committee. Reverend Tom Smith, Director of the Board of the Inter-Religious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) said that in honor of Rev. Lucius Walker “we must continue to fight harder and not stop until our brothers are released and back home with their relatives”.
Caravanista Alison Bodine and Rev. Estela Hernandez of William Carey Baptist Church, Havana
Havana, July 28 (Prensa Latina) Members of the Caravan of US-Cuba Friendship today unveiled a plaque in memory of their leader, the Rev. Lucius Walker, who was considered an icon in the struggle for world peace.
The plaque with the name of Rev. Walker who died last September, names him as a tireless opponent of the blockade (of Washington against the Caribbean country) and leader of the Caravan.
Rev. Thomas E. Smith, Board President of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)-Pastors for Peace, said that the Caravan returns each year to reciprocate the love of Cuba so well understood by Rev. Walker.
“Cuba is the last hope we have in this world. We are here because we want to see an end to the U.S. blockade against this nation”, Smith said to the assembled group, which included Caridad Diego, head of the Religious Affairs Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and Kenia Serrano, President of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).
The director of ICAP North America, Esperanza Luzbert, said unveiling the plaque in honor of the religious leader was a special moment. “Lucius Walker is among those who have been tireless fighters for social justice and world peace”.
Following the unveiling, caravanistas, in groups of two and three, moved forward to pay their respects and to touch the plaque located in the Jose Marti Anti-Imperialist Tribunal in front of the Office of U.S. Interests in Havana.
La Habana, 28 jul (PL) Integrantes de la Caravana de la Amistad Estados Unidos-Cuba develaron hoy aquí una tarja en memoria de su líder, el reverendo Lucius Walker, a quien consideraron un ícono en la lucha por la paz mundial.
La placa, con el nombre del religioso fallecido en septiembre pasado, lo califica de infatigable luchador contra el bloqueo (de Washington contra el país caribeño) y líder de las Caravanas.
El presidente de la Fundación Interreligiosa para la Organización Comunitaria (IFCO)-Pastores por la Paz, Tom Smith, aseguró que volverán cada año para reciprocar el amor de Cuba que tan bien comprendió Walker.
Cuba es la última esperanza en pie que tenemos en el mundo, subrayó Smith en presencia de la jefa de la Oficina de Asuntos Religiosos del Comité Central del Partido Comunista, Caridad Diego.
Estamos aquí para que Estados Unidos ponga fin al bloqueo contra esta nación, añadió el religioso en presencia de la presidenta del Instituto Cubano de Amistad con los Pueblos (ICAP), Kenia Serrano.
La directora de Norteamérica del ICAP, Esperanza Luzbert, dijo que se reunían en una mañana especial para develar una placa que significa un tributo al inolvidable líder religioso.
Posteriormente en grupos de a dos y tres personas, los caravanistas presentes tocaron la tarja ubicada en la Tribuna Antimperialista José Martí, frente a la Oficina de Intereses de Estados Unidos en La Habana.