An organization engaged in civil disobedience stopped in town Sunday afternoon to pick up medical supplies for Cuba and to talk about the “immorality” of the United States’ embargo on Cuba.
“That’s the main point,” said retired Dr. Tom Whitney of South Paris, Maine. “Civil disobedience. It’s purposeful,” he said.
The group refuses to get a license from the United States government to ship this humanitarian aid to Cuba.
“We refuse to do so because we want to have no complicity whatsoever with an economic blockade, which we see as immoral, illegal and cruel,” he said.
So the group brings its humanitarian aid across the border to Mexico each year and ships it to Cuba from there.
Yesterday’s group at “The Place” on Government Street in Kittery was part of the 18th Pastor’s for Peace Friendshipment Caravan, a group that canvasses the country for medical and other supplies for Cubans. The bus that came to Kittery is among a dozen or so currently making their way across the United States to Mexico.
Michael Murray of Cape Neddick said it’s the second year he has invited the caravan to Kittery. “This year’s theme is nursing homes,” said Murray. Among donations to the Cubans from locals were walkers and adult diapers.
Carolyn Cooper of Dover first got involved in the program thorough her church, Rye Congregational. Cooper took a church trip with Friendship Force International, a nonprofit international cultural exchange organization which seeks to personal friendships “across the barriers that separate people.”
Cooper said it opened her eyes to the plight of Cuban people, who are unable to get certain medical supplies because of the 45-year-old U.S. embargo on that country.
We support the efforts of Pastors for Peace and wish them well on their journey.