DALLAS, Texas – One of ten caravans of supplies for Cuba passed through here July 13. They raised money and medical equipment at a covered-dish dinner at the First Community Church. The “caravanistas” began in Canada. They brought an ambulance and a 12-seater school bus. Caravanistas Shirley Lord and George Harris of Winnepeg said that they expect to rendezvous in San Antonio with the other nine groups from all over North America, and with Reverend Lucius Walker of Pastors for Peace.

After they clear Laredo, they expected to proceed to Tampico, then 75 caravanistas and 11 vehicles would embark for Cuba on July 20. Lord and Harris could not speculate on whether or not the U.S. government would make it difficult for them to pass the border to Mexico, but their experience in leaving Canada may have been a bad portent. After the border officials there learned of their ultimate destination and intentions, they made an exception to the usually easy passage from Canada to the United States. Officials held the group up for three days.

The 2002 trip is the 13th “Friendshipment” to Cuba. Courageous North Americans have put together these popular trips for almost ten years. They have brought hundreds of tons of supplies to the blockaded island nation. As they travel, they generate more donations, more supplies, and new passengers for the trip. They also generate publicity that has helped protect them from shadowy government shenanigans in earlier trips.

The author can be reached at pww@pww.org