April Caravan in Boston

  • From Nancy B. Kohn, The International Committee and July26.org
  • Save the date: April 24th for “Solidarity from Cuba to Standing Rock”

I write to alert you that the Pastors for Peace Caravan is coming thru Boston much earlier than usual this year. Our meeting will be at First Baptist Church (633 Centre St.) in Jamaica Plain on Monday, April 24th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

We are thrilled to have Diana Gutierrez, a recent graduate of the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, as our main speaker. Diana recently returned to her home in Queens from the Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota where she put her medical skills to good use to serve the water protectors there.

It’s also great news that Congressman Jim McGovern has agreed to join us to discuss his recent trip to the island. He has led the fight in Congress for normalization and helped train some of us to do effective advocacy to end the travel ban and blockade. Hopefully, he will also discuss the on-going fight over a healthcare plan in Congress.

Also speaking will be John Waller, current coordinator of the IFCO/Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravans to Cuba. He has coordinated 10 such caravans. He was formerly part of the national leadership of the British Cuba Solidarity Campaign and has visited Cuba 15 times since 1991. John has also worked as a primary healthcare center manager in both England and the U.S. and has written extensively on Cuba’s outstanding approach to delivering quality healthcare to all its citizens.

While they are in town, we will be visiting the district offices of our Reps and Senators to push for an end to the blockade. We invite you to join us in those offices on Tuesday, April 25th. Our elected officials need to hear directly from their constituents (you) that there are people they represent who support Cuba with no preconditions.

It has been two years since President Obama began moves to normalize relations with Cuba.   Since then we have seen Cuba removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list, the reopening of embassies in the U.S. and Cuba, an expansion of the categories of people who can travel to Cuba with a government license, and some limited steps to ease the blockade.   (Of course, the Cuban 5 also won their freedom!) However, the ban on unlicensed travel and the key measures of the economic blockade remain in place.   Those policies and Cuba’s unique contribution in the health care field will be the main focus of the event Monday night.

I just got word that Miguel Fraga, the First Secretary at the Cuban Embassy in DC, will be there as well.

One other thing — JP Licks is donating two big tubs of ice cream.  Yum!

In solidarity,