Dear Edgar and Netzwerk Cuba
I attach an invite to participate with us in our 29th Caravan to Cuba which this year will be traveling to Santiago de Cuba and include visits to Guantanamo province, and to meet the Cuban people who live in the shadow of the US military base.
If you have any questions about this invite please get back to me.
John WallerFriendshipment Caravan
IFCO/Pastors for Peace
418 West 145th Street
New York, New York 10031
(P) 212-926-5757 ext. 6
US-CUBA FRIENDSHIPMENT XXIX 2018 – IFCO/Pastors for Peace
418 West 145th Street • NY, NY 10031 • (P) 212.926.5757 • (F) 212.926.5842
Join the Pastors for Peace Friendshipment Caravan to Cuba in July 2018
As Europeans you are free to travel to Cuba. US Citizens are not. To travel to Cuba we need permission, a license, from the US government. This has been the case for over 50 years. In his final years as president, Barack Obama made licenses very easy to get, as well as taking some steps to reduce the underlying US economic blockade of Cuba. However, Donald Trump has adopted a very hostile stance towards Cuba, partially reversing Obama’s actions, and reducing the possibilities for individual licensed travel.
IFCO/Pastors for Peace believes that licenses should be scrapped all together and that we should be freely able to travel to Cuba and meet our Cuban sisters and brothers. Since 1992 we have organized 28 caravans allowing people from the US – accompanied by our solidarity partners from other parts of the world – to travel to Cuba without a license as a conscious act of CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. Since 1994 people from Europe have participated in our annual Friendshipment Caravan from the US to Cuba, adding your voice and perspective to why the blockade needs to be lifted. This year once again we are inviting our friends from Europe to join us!!
· June 22-July 1 Caravan educational routes and events throughout the US
· July 16-18 Participant Orientation in Toronto, Canada
· July 19 Fly to Santiago de Cuba
· July 19 – July 29 Program in Santiago and Guantanamo provinces
· July 30 Fly back to Toronto
· July 31 Return to US
Participation in a Caravan route in the US is not mandatory but is highly encouraged. It is important for US audiences to hear directly from our international friends their perspective on what the blockade means. The orientation in Toronto is mandatory though you are free to return directly from Cuba to your own country.
Cost of program for European Participants: $1100 USD. Deadline to apply is May 1, 2018.
PROGRAM IN CUBA
This year we will spend 11 days in Cuba meeting with people of this beautiful island. From Toronto we will fly to Santiago in Eastern Cuba. Our stay will primarily be in the city and province of Santiago but will include day trips to the province of Guantanamo.
In Guantanamo we will visit the community of Caimanera to learn about the impact of the illegal US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay. We will also witness how the province has recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and learn how Cuba prepares in advance for hurricanes. In Santiago our program will explore how the Cuban people are moving forward in fields such as healthcare, organic farming and sustainable tourism, as well as their efforts to tackle the legacies of racism, sexism and homophobia. We will also witness and explore the role of religion in Cuba.
We will travel in the footsteps of Cuban revolutionaries, visiting the mountainous rural area known as the Second Front during the revolutionary war, as well as the final resting place of Fidel Castro and Jose Marti in Santiago. Our visit will include participation in the July 26th celebration of the 65th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks that Cubans celebrate as the very beginning of their revolution.
We will be staying in basic accommodation, the weather will be HOT (high 80s) and the program hectic, so you must be prepared and medically fit enough to withstand a challenging – yet rewarding – trip.
The visit to Cuba will be preceded in late June by 10 days of travel through various US cities to participate in public events, where IFCO representatives and our international friends will talk about the US blockade of Cuba and what needs to be done to achieve normal relations between the US and Cuba.