Monday, July 9, 2007

Victoria (B.C.) Good for Cuba!

Monday Magazine
Jul 04 2007
Victoria good for Cuba

On Saturday morning, a laden pick-up truck accompanied by two other vehicles left Victoria to meet up with a bus from the 18th Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba at the Peace Arch border crossing. The truck, packed full of supplies—including medical equipment, educational resources and musical instruments—was organized by the Victoria Goods for Cuba Campaign.

The Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba sends goods, vehicles and people to Cuba as a challenge to the U.S. blockade and travel ban. Beginning in 14 different places in the U.S. and Canada, the caravan travels through North America giving talks and collecting people, vehicles and goods. On July 18, the caravan plans to arrive in Tampico, Mexico, and 100-200 “caravanistas” and their goods will cross over to Cuba. This year’s caravan includes one “caravanista” from Victoria, Max Tennant.

Nancy Abbey, from Pastors for Peace, the U.S. organization responsible for organizing the caravan was up in Victoria last week to give a presentation about the caravan. “The U.S. government calls it an embargo but we call it a blockade,” says Abbey. “They are not just telling our manufacturers that they can’t send goods to Cuba, they are telling other countries that they can’t either. For example, if a ship docks in Cuba, it can’t dock in the U.S. for six months.”

“The blockade is disrespectful of the sovereignty of Cuba,” Abbey continues. “It is inhumane and illogical.”

While the Victoria contingent passed the Peace Arch border crossing without incident, a shipment of medical supplies collected by Caravane d’amitié Québec-Cuba was stopped at the Quebec/Maine border and has been detained for 30 days.


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