19th Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan to cross border on July 3rd

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Youth, Elders, Artists, Pastors Challenge the Blockade of Cuba
by Pastors for Peace
More than 100 Pastors for Peace volunteers from the US, Canada, and Europe have assembled in McAllen, TX to challenge the immoral US blockade on trade and travel to Cuba. 
 
Participants in the 19th US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan arrived last night in McAllen and are currently preparing for their journey.  They are camped out at Our Savior Lutheran Church for several days to inventory the 100 tons of aid they have collected for Cuba, to decorate and maintain their vehicles, and to prepare their border-crossing strategy.  
 

 
The aid includes medical, educational, arts and sports equipment for the blockaded island nation.  Six brightly painted school buses and a mobile library will also be donated to Cuba.  The caravan plans to cross the Texas border into Reynosa, Mexico early on Thursday, July 3, on their way to visit Cuba.

Members of the caravan will hold a press conference at Our Savior Lutheran Church, 1105 W. Fern Avenue in McAllen, on Tuesday afternoon July 1 at 2:00pm.  It will feature a brief performance by The Movement, a live hip hop band traveling with the caravan from the San Francisco Bay area.
 
The caravan has just traveled through the US and Canada, stopping in 125 cities to hold educational events and collect aid and good will for the people of Cuba. 
 
Nearly half of the members of the caravan are people of color; nearly half are in their teens and twenties; they include a contingent of musicians and spoken word artists who have been performing as the caravan crosses the US, and who will meet with their counterparts as part of the caravan program in Cuba. 
 
Seven members of the caravan are Cuban-Americans.  More than half of the caravanistas are visiting Cuba for the first time.  The oldest is 86 years old, and the youngest is 7.  They come from 21 states of the US and six other countries - all united in their determination to bring about a change in US/Cuba relations.


"This caravan is the true face of the US people," said Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. 
 
  • "The immoral and ignorant policy of the US government toward Cuba represents the power of a mean-spirited minority.  This caravan embodies the true inner feelings of the US majority.   We will keep challenging this unjust blockade until our government rescinds this inhuman policy that causes our neighbors so much suffering."

 
 
Pastors for Peace is a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), an ecumenical agency with a 40-year history of work for social justice. 
 
More information and photo images of the caravan are available at www.pastorsforpeace.org.


 
 

PRESS CONFERENCE:                              

TUESDAY JULY 1, 2008, 2:00PM
OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH
1105 W. FERN AVENUE, McALLEN, TX
 
MEDIA ADVISORY

Monday, June 30, 2008 
IMMEDIATE RELEASE




CONTACTS:
In McAllen, Texas:       Ellen Bernstein            646/319-5902

In New York City:         Lucia Bruno                 212/926-5757

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