The aid collected in Québec by the Caravane d’amitié Québec-Cuba and destined for maternity clinics and nursing homes in Cuba,included a breast pump for nursing mothers, stethoscopes, used eyeglasses, a Physicians Desk Reference (PDR) and surgical gowns.
Pastors for Peace spent six hours in a standoff with Homeland Security attempting to negotiate passage of the medical aid before the shipment was detained for thirty days to investigate it’s security threat to the U.S.
According to Greg Pease, (207- 297-2554) the Homeland Security officer in charge, he received instructions not to permit anything in transit to Cuba into the U.S.
“This detention by Homeland Security is outrageous.” said Rev. Lucius Walker, executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. “WhileCuba is offering full scholarships to U.S. students to study medicine in
Cuba, the U.S. government is denying transit of such basic items as breast pumps and surgical gowns. Why does the Maine border patrol have and ax to grind over breast pumps and surgical gowns? The contradictions are incredibly mean-spirited.”
“Actions like these illustrate even further the issues raised by Michael Moore’s film SiCKO.”
“This precious cargo, bound for Cuba was collected by Canadians who will link up with U.S. routes of the 18th Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan. We intend to deliver these supplies to Cuba.” added Rev. Walker.
This holiday weekend is the launch of the Friendshipment Caravan. Earlier crossings today into the U.S. from Vancouver into Blaine, WA and Winnipeg into Pembina ND occurred without incident.
Fourteen routes will stop in 125 U.S. cities, collecting aid and speaking out against the 45 year blockade of Cuba by the U.S. Over the course of two weeks, the Caravan expects to collect 100 tons of medical aid for
On July 17, the Caravan intends to cross the U.S. border into Reynosa, Mexico. In past years, U.S. officials have attempted to seize the humanitarian aid it carried. According to Rev. Walker, anything is possible this year, given the continued antagonism by the Bush administration towards Cuba.
More information about the Pastors for Peace Caravan can be found at:
contact Lucia Bruno at 347-423-4330 or 212 926-5757.
Call your Senators and Representatives (202- 224-3121)
Email Your Senators