New initiatives to end U.S. travel ban to Cuba

The U.S. ban on travel to Cuba has become a focus for people of all shades of opinion working to reverse U.S. policy toward Cuba. Announcements are now out for a conference and several trips this year are planned as direct challenges to the travel restrictions.

“Cuba Action Day,” a one-day conference April 27 in Washington, kicks off a campaign to lobby Congress on the travel issue. Participants will include Cuban families on both sides of the Florida Straits, business and agricultural interests, church groups, and teachers, students and artists associated with schools and colleges. For more information, visit

In addition, both Pastors for Peace, part of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO), and the Venceremos Brigade will go back to Cuba this summer in defiance of U.S. travel regulations. The 16th Pastors for Peace Friendshipment caravan will bring medical and other humanitarian supplies to Cuba, and the 35th Venceremos Brigade will work on construction or agricultural projects to express solidarity with the Cuban people. The dates are July 21, when the Friendshipment crosses into Mexico on its way to Cuba, and July 17, when the Brigade leaves for Cuba. Both groups return Aug. 1. (For more information, e-mail IFCO at cucaravan @ or the Venceremos Brigade at vbrigade @