Pastors for Peace say much remains to be done between Cuba, U.S.
Published July 19, 2016 EFE
HAVANA – The activist group Pastors for Peace said Tuesday in Havana
that, despite the progress achieved in a year of diplomatic relations
between Cuban and the U.S., "much remains to be done" as long as the
embargo on the island continues.
"We're excited that there is some improvement in relations with
Cuba...that restrictions on travel are more flexible, but we're aware
that only those in a few categories can travel freely to Cuba," group
leader Gail Walker told EFE.
The director, daughter of the late Rev. Lucius Walker, founder of the
project to get around the U.S. economic embargo and bring donations to
the island, said they are "very happy" to see the attempts by certain
members of Congress to change some of the restrictions on trade with Cuba.
Once a year since 1992, a Pastors for Peace Caravan has brought
humanitarian aid and medicines to the island without seeking either
authorization or permission from U.S. authorities.
"We believe the lawmakers were taking a positive step, though it hasn't
been a success. There's still a lot to do. We have to pressure Congress
to make sure this passes," Walker said after a press conference in which
the 41 participants in the 27th U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan took part.
The 29 Americans, nine Mexicans, two Germans and a Swedish citizen
making up the Pastors for Peace Caravan arrived Monday in Havana via
Mexico after giving conferences and talks in more than 40 U.S. cities.
For Walker, leader of the Inter-religious Foundation for Community
Organization, the best way to help has been "putting a face on
opposition to the embargo" and continuing to demand an end to what they
call "an anti-Christian and anti-humanitarian policy."
Faced with the imminent election of a new U.S. president, Walker was
cautious and said "we'll have to see" if their work toward complete
normalization of relations with the Caribbean country will be affected
by results at the polls.
"We're not sure if there will be a President Trump or a President
Clinton - I think we'll have challenges either way. Nonetheless, Hillary
seems more willing to ease the restrictions, though in some areas she
has been intransigent. So we'll really have to wait and see," Walker said.
Source: Pastors for Peace say much remains to be done between Cuba, U.S.
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