HAVANA.- The presence in Cuba of both the ‘Venceremos’ Solidarity Brigade and the inter-religious Pastors for Peace group, is one more example of the fraternal ties that exist between the people of Cuba and their US counterparts.

The organizers of the first contingent that emerged in 1969, sought not only to support Cuban construction and agricultural projects, but also to defy travel restrictions imposed by the North American government.

The presence in Cuba of both the ‘Venceremos’ Solidarity Brigade and the inter-religious Pastors for Peace group, is one more example of the fraternal ties that exist between the people of Cuba and their US counterparts.In addition to calling for the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade that Washington has maintained on Havana for more than half a century, Venceremos Brigade members support the normalization of bilateral relations.

Experts consider that this group represents an experience of collective effort that contributes to the creation of a better world committed to social justice.

Similar principles are shared by their compatriots who make up the Pastors for Peace Caravan, an initiative started back in 1992 by the late North American, Reverend Lucius Walker, who also promoted the collection and transport of humanitarian aid for Cuba.

During their annual visits to the Caribbean island, both groups voluntarily engage in productive agricultural activities, visit sites of cultural and historical relevance and interact with different communities from around the country.

It is a happy coincidence that two groups who have a shared a vision of justice, humanism and a better world, had two victories to celebrate to which they could add their communities’ voices.

The first of which is the return to Cuba of the anti-terrorist activists, Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, internationally known as the Cuban Five, sentenced to serve severe custodial sentences in the US for monitoring Florida-based terrorist movement, hostile to the Cuban Revolution and planning attacks against Cuba.

The presence in Cuba of both the ‘Venceremos’ Solidarity Brigade and the inter-religious Pastors for Peace group, is one more example of the fraternal ties that exist between the people of Cuba and their US counterparts.The second is the victory in the struggle to have Cuba removed from the list of nations that the US deems to be sponsors of terrorism, an accusation considered by the international community to be unfair and lacking in sense.

During an event to welcome the XXVI Pastor’s Caravan, Gail Walker –daughter of Reverend Lucius Walker – told how her group had traveled through 40 states, stopping in a variety of communities to transmit truths about Cuba.

Walker said that this was not just a US group but an international one with the support of friends from Puerto Rico, Haiti, Spain, Germany, Mexico and Canada, among other places, and added that “there are still things to do and we know that our work has not finished yet”.

The activist said that what has thus far been achieved can be applauded, but we must not rest until the Blockade has been set aside.

Ana Miledys Rosales, a member of the 46th Venceremos Brigade to visit Cuba said that it was time for the Blockade, a policy hostile to the interests of the Cuban people, to be lifted.

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