Cuba Politics

Pastors for Peace begins collecting humanitarian aid to Cuba

Posted June 25, 2006 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- | By Chris Outcalt

KITTERY, Maine - Cuba blockade bustin�. Humanitarian aid by any means necessary. Cuba is our neighbor.

Those are just a few of the phrases painted on a bus that was parked outside The Space in Kittery Sunday evening.

The bus belongs to Pastors for Peace and Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization. The bus is one of 14 collecting 100 tons of humanitarian aid for Cuba.

The 14 caravans will travel on separate routes and will make stops in 127 cities spanning all mainland states before converging in McAllen, Texas. The caravans will be put on a boat bound for Cuba.

Chris Outcalt photo

The effort is part of the group�s initiative to challenge the government�s economic blockade of Cuba. The blockade has been in effect for more than four decades and prohibits economic, commercial and financial aid to the country.

“As people of faith and conscience, it is our duty to resist and condemn this cruel U.S. policy,” said Lucius Walker Jr., executive director and founder of IFCO. “We reject this licensing system as both immoral and illegal.”

IFCO Associate Director Ellen P. Bernstein gave a brief speech to about 20 people who gathered in support of the group Sunday.

“We travel to Cuba to talk and to break down the blockade, but most of all, we�re just trying to take aid to Cuba,” Bernstein said.

The ecumenical initiative has delivered 2,450 tons of assistance to Cuba to date. The aid delivered by these campaigns ranges from wheelchairs and medical supplies to computers and bicycles.

“We really think this blockade is immoral,” Bernstein said. “We want to try and hold our government to a higher moral standard.”

Bernstein is one of more than 100 Pastors for Peace volunteers from the U.S., Canada and five European countries who will travel to Cuba next month.

For more information on IFCO or Pastors for Peace, call (212) 916-5757 or visit

Member Comments

On June 26, 2006, Ralph wrote:

No reason to say No to this sort of aid,whenever it comes should be welcomed
by the genuine cubans,no matter what could be their political stances,this aid
is needed and it is unwarranted under any cuban agenda to say not.we should say thanks instead.

On July 06, 2006, Ralph wrote:

AS I said in my previous post the help brings for the pastors should be allowed
and welcomed, as long as, it reachs the cuban people, the pro( a few) and the
Cons(the vast majority)b/c it is well known that 70% of the cubans has
simmering public discontents and sometimes without simmering,that’s why
they have put in jail,in very dodgy situations,so to fulfill the Christian Commitments which are the goal in any Christian Pastor’s behaviour,they
should openly ask the government (Castro) for the release of these prisioners,
and lift the restrictions on internet to the cuban people,who in according of
the lastest information issued by the World Bank has a low index of accesibility to the web,just 12 in 1000 cubans are moving in the web,the rest
are banned,why? Could somebody give a truly explanation for doing that? / The cubans don’t ask for broad band internet,super speedy and so on,they just one to have access to the lastest information in the vast field of science,in sports,in politics in particular,to have the access to differents points of views,
nothing rare,bizarre or criminal, isn’t it?