EMERGENCY ACTION ALERT Pastors Cuba Caravan Barred at US-Mexico Border

Posted: July 21, 2005

NYC, FRIDAY, JULY 22: EMERGENCY DEMONSTRATION TO DEMAND: HANDS OFF THE PASTORS  FOR PEACE CARAVAN! LET MATERIAL AID GO THROUGH TO CUBA! LIFT THE TRAVEL BAN  OF CUBA! 45 & 1ST AVE. 4-630 PM.

URGENT- PLEASE CONTACT THE COMMERCE DEPARTMENT AND YOUR CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVES, EMERGENCY NETWORKS AND PRESS CONTACTS: SPREAD THE WORD FAR AND WIDE!

http://www.commerce.gov/ 202-482-2000 Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez cgutierrez@commerce.gov

As of 1:30 pm EDT, July 21, 2005, The Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba is being held up at the US-Mexico border by US Commerce Department officials. They are threatening to search every vehicle and every item of humanitarian aid. They are telling us that "only licensable goods will be allowed to cross into Mexico."

Pastors for Peace does not accept or apply for a license to deliver humanitarian aid to Cuba.

There are 130 US citizens traveling with the caravan. They and the humanitarian aid are traveling in eight busses, a box truck and two small cars. It will take days to inspect the 140 tons of aid. We are prepared to do whatever we need to do to deliver our humanitarian aid to Cuba. Stay posted... PLEASE TAKE ACTION NOW!

1) Call Scott Kamen, Congressional Aide of Affairs at the Department of Commerce, at 202-482-0097 and demand that the Caravan be allowed to cross the border with all of its humanitarian cargo.

2) Call your Congressperson and ask them to call Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez at 202-482-2000, or Scott Kamen at 202-482-0097. If you don't know how to reach your Congressperson, go to http://www.house.gov/ and enter your zip code. That will take you to the Congresspersons home web page where you can find phone and email information.


From: Latin America Working Group mailto:lawg@lawg.org Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2005 12:10 PM Subject: Cuba Update: Aid Caravan halted at the border

We want to make you aware of a developing situation regarding a humanitarian aid shipment to Cuba by Pastors for Peace. Many of you know Pastors for Peace and their humanitarian efforts to deliver needed material aid to Cuba, in spite of the restrictions that the U.S. government imposes on U.S. citizens who wish to engage in a positive manner with Cuba. We just received the following statement from Pastors for Peace from the border at McAllen, Texas, where the U.S. Department of Commerce has halted the progress of the aid caravan.

This could develop into a serious situation, as the caravan is without sufficient food for the 130 U.S. citizens accompanying it to last for the days that it would take for the Commerce Department to inspect all the vehicles and boxes of aid being transported by the caravan. A policy that denies the unrestricted delivery of humanitarian aid to a neighbor country in urgent need in the wake of a devastating hurricane is a policy that needs to be changed. In solidarity, Mavis Anderson Philip Schmidt Latin America Working Group www.lawg.org

 Statement Received by Telephone from Pastors for Peace from McAllen, TX Thursday, July 21, 2005; 1:45 p.m. ET Pastors for Peace Caravan held at the Border Commerce Department officials say they will search every vehicle and every box of humanitarian aid. Only licensable goods will be allowed to cross into Mexico. Pastors for Peace does not accept licenses for humanitarian aid. There are 130 U.S. citizens traveling with the Caravan and eight buses, a box truck, and two small cars. It will take days to inspect the 140 tons of aid, and we are prepared to do whatever we need to do to get our aid across the border.

Here's what you can do:

Protest this gross interference in the transfer of humanitarian aid and express your concern about the health risks to the caravanistas who are being kept in buses without air conditioning that are parked in the sun by calling:

The U.S. Commerce Department
202-482-2000

The U.S. Treasury Department
202-622-2000

The White House comment line
202-456-1111

Senator Barbara Boxer
619-239-3384

Senator Diane Feinstein
619-231-1108

U.S. government repression of the progressive movement must end. Add your voice!

 

 

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