Some 100 members of the 19th US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan, an annual shipment of humanitarian aid organized by the New York-based group Pastors for Peace, arrived in Havana on July 5. Reverend Lucius Walker led the delegation, which was met at the José Martí International Airport by Communist Party and religious leaders. Pastors for Peace has been collecting and shipping aid to Cuba since 1992. To challenge the 46-year-old US trade embargo against Cuba, the group refuses to request a license from the US Treasury Department for the shipment.
The caravan collected about 100 tons of donated material during a tour of US and Canadian cities; the aid included medical, educational, art and sports equipment, along with several buses. US agents confiscated 35 computers as caravan members attempted to drive the material into Mexico at the Pharr Bridge border crossing between the states of Tamaulipas and Texas. Caravan supporters occupied one lane of automobile traffic for a half hour to protest the seizure. The group then traveled to the port of Tampico to send the material to Cuba by ship. (Granma Internacional, July 6)
From Weekly News Update on the Americas, July 6
See our last post on Cuba.