22nd U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan Arrives in Cuba

July 27, 2011

On July 22, the 22nd U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan arrived in Cuba with over 100 tons of humanitarian aid collected on a tour of 130 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada.

The Friendshipments, organized by the Pastors for Peace every year since 1992, are an expression of the unbreakable solidarity between the American and Cuban people. They are also part of the on-going struggle of the American people to end the continuing U.S. economic blockade against Cuba.

The U.S. economic embargo against Cuba, first enacted in 1962, imposes a total ban on all food, medicine, equipment and raw materials from the U.S. and prohibits free travel between the two countries. In recent years, legislation has further tightened the embargo. In 1992, Congress passed the Torricelli Bill which, in blatant violation of the sovereignty of other states, imposed sanctions against all countries that trade with Cuba. The Helms-Burton legislation, signed into law in 1996, extends such third-party sanctions by denying entry visas to the U.S. for foreign individuals linked to any corporations doing business in Cuba. It also seeks to cut off all international loans to Cuba.

U.S. sanctions have resulted in untold hardship on the Cuban people, denying them medical and humanitarian supplies as well as raw materials, energy and spare parts.

The continuing conflict between the U.S. and Cuban government is rooted in the cold-war policy of the U.S. government which violates the sovereignty of Cuba and aims at dictating to the Cuban people what type of economic and social system they can have. The policy of the Obama administration remains in complete defiance of international law and the accepted principles of sovereign equality amongst nations, non-intervention and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries as well as the freedom of international trade and navigation.