Let's go to Cuba! Brookings Pax Christi is hosting a potluck and program to support the "Caravan to Cuba" project. For 25 years, Pastors for Peace has been organizing relief trips to Cuba to protest the anti-Castro embargo the United States has imposed on the island for over 50 years. Brookings Pax Christi's potluck begins at 6 p.m. Friday, July 11th, at the United Church of Christ, 828 8th Street South, in Brookings. The program begins at 6:45 p.m. For more information, call Andrew L'Amour at 692-4386.
Pastors for Peace justifies its humanitarian protest thus:
“The blockade is a byzantine maze of US Cold War-era policies aimed at destabilizing our neighbors in Cuba -- from the ban on commercial transactions, which still stifles Cuba’s ability to get basic medicines to the travel ban which separates families, to putting Cuba on the list of state-sponsors of terrorism, which is absolutely absurd,” said Gail Walker, Co-Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. “How can we label a country which sends doctors and teachers around the world and trains thousands of young people to become doctors for the poor as terrorist?” [IFCO/Pastors for Peace, "Cuba Caravan Kicks Off July 8th," press release, 2014.07.07]
I can understand the urge to have nothing to do with unsavory characters like the Castros and Che Guevara. But fifty-plus years of not interacting with Cuba hasn't toppled Castro regime; it's just made Cubans experts at antique auto maintenance and urban farming. What practical harm lies in following Pastors for Peace and opening the doors to Cuban trade and immigration?