14th US/CUBA FRIENDSHIPMENT
is off to a blockade-busting start!
Sunday, June 29, 2003
This afternoon, Canadian citizens on the 14th US/Cuba Friendshipment Caravan carried a printing press, medical supplies and bicycles from Canada through US Customs into the United States, thus breaking the US Government blockade of Cuba. The Caravan is organized by Pastors for Peace, a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), as a challenge to what organizers call an immoral law designed to create pain and suffering for innocent Cuban citizens.
A little after noon today, participants from both Canada and the United States gathered for a rally at beautiful Peace Arch Park, which marks the boundary between the United States and Canada.
Rally speakers Randy Caravaggio of Victoria, B.C. and Taleigh Smith of Seattle, Washington (both shown below) implored people of both nations to struggle against the immoral US government blockade of Cuba. American Dave McConnell (not shown) pointed out the irony of the rally being legal only on the Canadian side of the park because it "takes 50 days to get a special permit to hold a peace rally on the US side of Peace Arch Park!"
Next, the Canadian blockade-busters got in line and approached US Customs:
After a few tense moments at US Customs, the first truckload of aid was allowed to pass through.
After the second carload of aid succesfully entered the US, the international crew loaded a heavy printing press (Canadian printing press) into a school bus, and then celebrated the successful challenge to the blockade.
The day was a big success!!
The caravan then drove to Seattle and had an evening Sendoff celebration at El Centro De la Raza on Beacon Hill.
The next day, the Caravan participants driving the school bus and an ambulance, both carrying aid for Cuba, headed south down the west coast of the United States. In Texas they were joined by more than 100 other caravan participants on July 17 to cross the US border into Mexico, enroute to Cuba. In Cuba the aid was distributed to 170 elder care institutions distributed throughout the island.
For more information contact Seattle/Cuba Friendship Committee: