Bus leaving for Cuba
July/August 2002

About two dozen people from Alachua County came together in Alachua for a July 9 celebration of the fact that a full school bus of aid for Cuba was ready to move out as part of the Umpteenth Pastors for Peace Friendshipment. The topic of discussion was how all present felt that Cuba needs to be supported as an inspiration, a model, for a nation devoted to the education and health of its people. One of the ways this support could be manifested is through a sister-city relationship with a city in Cuba. The bus full of aid was organized by the newly-formed St. Petersburg-Guantanamo Sister Cities Project.

The bus will be part of the multi-routed caravan; a project organized by the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizing. The routes will meet up in Texas, cross the border to Mexico at McAllen, Texas, then be shipped by frieghter to Cuba.

Each shipment (there have been thirteen so far) has been an act of civil disobedience as Pastors for Peace/IFCO have always refused to file the Treasury Department paperwork required by the U.S. government because of its embargo of Cuba. Although aid has sometimes been impounded, the U.S. has pretty much given up harassing the group during its border crossings, perhaps thinking that the bad publicity generated about the U.S. blocking humanitarian aid has been too much of a public relations nightmare.

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