Aid caravan crosses US border without incident, pastors for peace calls for transition government in US.

We are writing this press release from the Customs dock in Reynosa, Mexico, having successfully passed across the US border this morning without incident.

Our caravan of nine brightly painted vehicles arrived at the international border at 6:15am escorted by local police, and continued on into Mexico. One of the toll collectors flashed a “V” sign – for victory and for peace – at the passing caravanistas as we passed through the tollbooth and headed across the Pharr International Bridge, carrying more than 100 tons of humanitarian aid for Cuba. The aid was collected in 127 communities around the US and Canada.

We were briefed by local police on the day prior to our crossing. We understand that there were high level meetings involving US attorneys, Customs officials and local police to determine how they would handle the challenge from Pastors for Peace this year. Their refusal to meet our challenge is especially significant in light of last year’s action, in which US Customs, under orders from the US Commerce Department, selectively inspected and confiscated items of humanitarian aid including computers destined for disabled Cuban children.

Rev. Lucius Walker, executive director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, said, “The US is calling for regime change in Cuba; but we are here today calling for regime change in the US. It’s time that our government turned toward peace, toward reconciliation, toward respect for the sovereignty of Cuba and of all our neighbors. We are here today to show it can be done.”

Pastors for Peace is a project of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), a national ecumenical agency which has been working for social justice since 1967.

Downloadable photos and more information are available at www.pastorsforpeace.org .

IFCO/PASTORS FOR PEACE

% The Latin American School of Medicine

418 W 145th Street, New York, NY 10031

tel: 212.926.5757

fax: 212.926.5842

email:

online: www.ifconews.org

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