Aid Destined For Children in Cuba Seized by U.S. Customs
Call the Department of Commerce and Demand The Release of the Aid!
On Thursday July 21st, US Customs and Border Protection officers, acting on instructions from the US Department of Commerce, seized 43 boxes of computer equipment – toner, cables, calculators, modems, keyboards, 2 printers, and a dozen computers – intended for Cuban children from the 16th Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan. A group of seven caravanistas have remained on the U.S./Mexico border in Hidalgo, Texas to build an international campaign to free the computer equipment for delivery to Cuba.
Each year, the Pastors for Peace Caravan delivers hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid and good will to our neighbor nation Cuba. But this year, according to reliable sources, the order came from high up in the Bush Administration to stop Pastors for Peace from delivering the aid. In fact, most of the 11-vehicle/150 member caravan crossed the border early Friday morning after an extended search of the almost 140 tons of humanitarian aid. However, the struggle is not over yet We Need Your Help!
"We are committed to delivering the computers donated by generous US citizens to Cuban children with special needs; and we ask for your help, immediately. At a time when Homeland Security personnel are needed for serious anti-terror surveillance, the fact that they would use 45 of their officers to stop Pastors from donating toner, cables and calculators is a wasteful misuse of public resources," said Reverend Lucius Walker, founder and director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace.
HOW YOU CAN HELP!
Call your congressional representative and your senators (202-225-3121); urge them to personally call Carlos Gutierrez, Secretary of Commerce and insist that he let the computers go!
Call Michael D. Turner, Director of Export Enforcement for the Department of Commerce and insist that the computers be released. 202.482.1208, Ext. 3
Call Wendy Wysong, Assistant Secretary of Commerce, for Export Enforcement, and insist that the computers be released and allowed to continue to Cuba. 202.482.3618
Ask your church or congregation to sign on to our Pastoral Letter in support of releasing the aid and allowing it to continue on to Cuba (available soon on our website).
Organize a solidarity prayer vigil on Wednesday, July 27. Our Prayer Vigil will be taking place on the Hidalg-Reynosa International Bridge, Wednesday, 4:30- 6:30pm
Hold a Rally at the Federal Building in your town to demand the release of the computers.
For more information, visit the Pastors For Peace website and check the blog, www.pastorsforpeace.org .
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