PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN TO CUBA - Mitch Perry

07/19/04

Despite explicit threats from the Bush Administration, over 100 members of the 15th Pastors for Peace U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan returned over the International Bridge In Hildago, Texas this morning...

The group returned from a ten-day stay in Cuba, where they delivered over 100 tons of humanitarian aid, visited schools and hospitals, and had an opportunity to experience the Cuban reality firsthand. They crossed the Mexican border on July 7th with over 20 vehicles, including three wheelchair-equipped school buses donated to Cuba from Florida, in defiance of the U.S. economic blockade and travel ban. The vehicles and cargo were later loaded on a Cuban freighter in the port of Tampico.

Lucia Bruno is Director for Communications for Pastors for Peace...She explains what the Caravan delivered to the Cuban people (roll tape# 1 o.q."this year")

In a "reverse challenge" this morning, the caravanistas returned to the U.S. carrying symbolic quantities of Cuban honey and coffee which represent some of the trade possibilities that exist with Cuba.

Michael Canney is from the group Cuba Viva...He went with the caravan into Cuba last week. He says it was an act- as it has been for the past 15 years - of Civil Disobedience

(roll tape#2 o.q." to go anyway")

Although not with the Caravan as it returned on American soil today, Cuba Vive's Michael Canney has been there in previous years....He says the Authorities usually do NOT make a big show with those returning from Cuba - for their own reasons(roll tape#3 o.q."public confrontation")

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