Ever since the first Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba challenged the unilateral blockade of the island in 1992 the U.S. government has had it out for the organization. Many of us remember the scene that year as border agents assaulted religious clergy and students carrying bibles and bicycles across the Mexican border on its way to the people of Cuba.
Since that time no organization has consistently, openly and in defiance of the law, exposed the cruel and inhumane nature of the blockade against a nation who has done nothing except set an example of hope for the rest of the world as Pastors for Peace. For 27 times they have followed the vision of its founding director Lucius Walker by making it clear that People to People diplomacy is the best way and that the U.S. government has no jurisdiction over who we chose to be our friends.
Beginning in 2009 Pastors for Peace has been forced to weather an almost constant storm of threats from the government to shut it down. First by attempting to invoke the ‘Trading with the Enemy Act’ and now through the IRS who has said that they will revoke Pastors for Peace tax exempt status in a couple of weeks because a bookkeeping technicality.
We cannot let this happen. Starting on December 17, 2014 a thaw between Cuba and the U.S. has begun but no one should be fooled just because the tone may have changed; the official policy of the U.S. government is still to roll back the remarkable human gains of the Cuban Revolution. And what better way to do that than to go after its staunchest supporters in this country.
The yellow school buses that every year have criss crossed the country with a message of peace and respect towards Cuba has built a large and loyal network of supporters. A family if you will. Now is the time for that family to link arms and stand up.