[HCCN] Fwd: Mon. Aug. 3 PASTORS FOR PEACE TO CROSS BORDER, RETURN TO US

Judith Robbins JUDY at ROBBINSandROBBINS.com
Mon Aug 3 07:26:11 EDT 2009



> From: lucia bruno <lucia at ifconews.org>
>
>
> MEDIA ADVISORY:
>
> AUGUST 2, 2009 — for immediate release
> CONTACTS:         at the MX/TX border: Ellen Bernstein:  
> 646/319-5902, -5904
>                                in New York:  Lucia Bruno:  
> 212/926-5757, 347-423-4330
>
>
> PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN RETURNS FROM CUBA:
> CROSSES BORDER FROM MEXICO INTO U.S. AUGUST 3, 2009:
> CARAVAN PRESENTS OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
>
>
> The 20th US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan organized by IFCO/Pastors  
> for Peace returns to the US on August 3, after collecting 115 tons  
> of humanitarian aid for delivery to the Cuban people and visiting  
> Cuba for a nine-day program of education and fellowship.
>
> The caravan will confront US authorities on Monday morning August 3  
> at about 10:30am, when it crosses the Hidalgo International Bridge  
> from Reynosa, Mexico into Hidalgo, Texas.  Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr.,  
> founder and executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, along  
> with other members of the caravan, will be available to speak to  
> the media before and after the crossing.
>
> Members of the Cuba caravan will present the following open letter  
> to President Obama:
>
>
> AN OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT OBAMA
> FROM THE 20TH PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN TO CUBA
>
> Dear President Obama:
>
> On the morning of August 3, 2009, we are returning to the United  
> States after an informative and inspiring nine-day visit to Cuba.
>
> We met with Cubans in many sectors of society — youth, elders,  
> campesinos, scientists, social workers, veterans, pastors and  
> churchfolk, legislators and government officials.  We visited urban  
> and rural communities, churches, cultural centers, and one of  
> Cuba's renowned institutes of biotechnology.  We saw Cuba's  
> universal health care system in action.  We visited the Latin  
> American School of Medicine, where full scholarships are given to  
> young people from 29 nations; and we were present at the school's  
> graduation ceremony — which included 17 students from low-income  
> communities in the US.
>
> We saw the beauty and dignity, the creativity and the giving spirit  
> of the Cuban people.  And we saw the cruel effects and the enormous  
> costs of the US economic sanctions.
>
> We came away from our visit with the unanimous conviction that the  
> US economic blockade of Cuba is cruel and counterproductive and  
> that it should immediately end.
>
> We write to urge you to use the power of your office to bring about  
> a ‘change we can believe in,' a change we can be proud of, in the  
> area of US/Cuba policy.  We urge you to seek out new advisors in  
> this area, and to set aside the stale and ineffective policies of  
> past administrations.
>
> We urge you to implement the following steps:
>     Free the Cuban Five
>     End the economic blockade
>     End the travel ban — not just for Cuban-Americans, but for  
> everyone
>     Take Cuba off the State Department's ‘terrorist list'
>     Give the Guantanamo Naval Base back to Cuba
>     Shut down Radio and TV Martí
>     Normalize diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba
>
> In your Presidential campaign, you spoke of a US foreign policy  
> based on mutual respect among nations.  As people of faith and  
> conscience, we ask you to understand that it is immoral and  
> inhumane to use food, medicine, and critical resources to  
> manipulate our neighbors to accede to our government's political  
> will.  We urge you to set a new course based in dialogue and  
> reconciliation.  We want to affirm the sentiments of the seven  
> members of Congress who visited Cuba last April:  ‘It's time to  
> talk with Cuba.'
>
> We will be returning home to speak out in our home communities  
> about all of these issues.  You will be hearing much more from us  
> in the days to come.
>
>
> Sincerely,
>
> The 130 members of the 20th US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan
> IFCO/Pastors for Peace
>
>
> **********
>
> Pastors for Peace is a program of the Interreligious Foundation for  
> Community Organization (IFCO), a national ecumenical agency that  
> has been working to promote racial, social, and economic justice  
> since 1967.  Photos, video clips, and more information are  
> available at www.pastorsforpeace.org.
>

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