July 14 — The 32nd Friendshipment Caravan of IFCO/Pastors for Peace will leave in several days for Cuba, bringing solidarity, love and medical support to underscore the urgent need to end the criminal U.S. blockade of Cuba. The caravan celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment solidarity movement to demonstrate that the people of the U.S. do not support their government’s campaign against the people of Cuba.
Ninety-one participants, the majority of them young people of color and first-time visitors to Cuba, will take part in this rich educational experience. This brigade will break the blockade of lies and propaganda against Cuba.
The Friendshipment Caravan this year was launched with a national tour that included East Coast, Midwest, South, and all-Florida to speak with a variety of communities. The tour visited a total of 21 cities and towns.
Team East Coast on Facebook
Team Midwest: Dr. Samira Addrey and Cheryl LaBash on Facebook
At the Columbia, Maryland, stop, both Gail Walker — Executive Director of Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization and Reverend Dorlimar Lebrón Malavé, liberation theologist and IFCO Board member — stressed the need to end the U.S. blockade that is meant to strangle the Cuban people and create human suffering. They urged those who have not visited Cuba to participate and those who have to help a new generation experience Cuba for themselves.
Although IFCO stresses that the tons of much needed medicines carried with the brigade is only symbolic, it highlights the unimaginable crime committed by the U.S. government when the blockade was intensified in the midst of the pandemic when Cuba’s essential tourist income became unavailable. Financial contributions to buy medicines are accepted at Ifconews.org.
IFCO/Pastors for Peace enables young people, especially Black, Brown and poor students, to take advantage of Cuba’s generous full-ride scholarships to attend its Latin America School of Medicine (ELAM). The main requirement is that those who receive training as debt-free doctors return to serve in their communities.
ELAM was conceived by Cuba’s leader, Fidel Castro, to give an opportunity to students around the globe from Africa and the Americas to train to become doctors and contribute to solving global healthcare needs. The school now includes students from 124 countries. For more information go to Elam Medical School.
July 31, Urgent support needed for ‘Bridges of Love’
On Sunday, July 31, the day following their return, Pastors for Peace organizers will make it a priority to show support for the “Bridges of Love” bike and car caravans in Miami inspired by Cuban-American teacher Carlos Lazo. On the last Sunday of every month for two years, Cuban Americans supported by others have publicly displayed support for ending the U.S. economic warfare against their relatives living in Cuba — breaking the narrative monopoly. Across the U.S., Canada and in many countries, “last Sunday of the month” caravans show solidarity with their counterparts in Miami.
In June, for the first time the Miami caravan was physically attacked. Actions of solidarity across all states are being urged for Sunday, July 31. Whether you hold a solidarity caravan, picket line or simply gather on a street corner with signs and snap a photo, every effort will demonstrate that violence will not be tolerated and will not silence our voices. Send a photo of your July 31 activity to SundayCaravan@nnoc.org
If you are interested in traveling with IFCO/Pastors for Peace caravans, go to their website at IFCOnews.org. Sign up to receive the weekly e-newsletter CubaBuzz.
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