Courageous Americans Set to Defy Bush Travel Ban to Cuba
100 will Return Across Border Monday July 19 8:30 AM at the Peace Bridge, Buffalo, NY
Supporters will be coming from Michigan, Ohio, New York and Ontario to gather at Front Park, by the Peace Bridge, this coming MONDAY to welcome the TRAVEL BAN CHALLENGERS.
GATHER at 8:30 am at FRONT PARK in BUFFALO. Enter park from PORTER AVENUE.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HELP? Come early and HELP SET UP between 7:30 and 8:30 AM! BRING SALADS and DESSERTS to share at the meal we will be enjoying together!
the latest announcement from the Venceremos Brigade
Challenges Will Take Place at Border Crossings from Canada and Mexico On Monday morning, July 19, more than 200 U.S. citizens will proclaim their constitutional right to travel, as they return home from Cuba. The U.S. travel ban, which denies Americans the right to see Cuba for themselves, has been in effect for more than forty years - lifted briefly by Pres. Jimmy Carter - and has recently been tightened by the Bush Administration.
One hundred members of the Venceremos Brigade and the African Awareness Association will cross from Ft. Erie, Ontario into Buffalo, New York at 8:30 am on July 19. Over one hundred members of the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan will cross into McAllen, Texas from Mexico on that same morning. All three groups have traveled to Cuba without a "license" because they are opposed to the travel restrictions and do not accept the US government's right to stop them from traveling to Cuba.
The Venceremos Brigade arrived in Cuba on July 4 and has spent nearly two weeks in Cuba, working in both Santiago de Cuba and Havana provinces, and traveling across the island. The Brigade is a diverse group from around the US with members ranging in age from 16 to 73, and from many ethnic and racial backgrounds. They are united by their desire to see Cuba for themselves and are willing to risk draconian fines and harassment at the border to stand up for their right to travel. The Brigade has traveled to Cuba yearly since 1969, and has sent over 8000 people who have worked and traveled in Cuba.
"I'm going to Cuba to become more acquainted with Cuba's struggles," said Diego Iniquez a 17-year-old Cuban American Brigadista from New Jersey. "I believe their struggle is one of inspiration to the world's impoverished masses. This is why everyone should see Cuba first-hand and leave the propaganda about their reality at home. We do this challenge in defiance of the US laws because our moral laws tell us to do so."
The Brigade's group statement says "We oppose any and all restrictions on our right to travel to Cuba. We oppose the Bush Administration's warlike actions towards Cuba and its relentless pursuit of "regime change" in Cuba - a country where people have free health care and education, where they do not suffer homelessness and hunger and where racism is actively combated, and whose largest export to the poor countries of the world is medical assistance. We support the Cuban people's sovereign right to have the social system of their choosing--and we want to learn more about it."
The Brigade will be greeted by Canadian supporters at Mather Gate in Ft. Erie, Ontario at 8:00am. [at MATHER ARCH, just off CENTRAL AVE. S . FORT ERIE---exit QEW AT CENTRAL AVE. S. and continue to MATHER CIRCLE] At 8:30 am they will cross the mile-long International Peace Bridge by foot and be welcomed home by supporters in Front Park in Buffalo.
[from the Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Niagara--- The travel ban challengers will land at Toronto Airport and spend the night as guests of one of the locals of the CANADIAN STEELWORKERS who have generously offered their hall as a billeting station. Early Monday, they will travel to Fort Erie.
Some of us will peacefully convoy them across the Peace Bridge as a sign of support and fellowship with their cause and will join up with their fellow Americans who will be awaiting their return in the park just a few steps away from the US Customs exit. Anyone who wishes to join us on the pedestrian crossing must have the required personal documentation to be able to pass through customs.]
If the U.S. government attempts to impose fines on any members of the group, the Brigade intends to fight legal battles until all restrictions on travel to Cuba are lifted.
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