By Yunielis Moliner Isasi
The idea of peace and love promulgated by Jesus of Nazareth is what guides the 75 members of the XXXI Pastors for Peace caravan visiting Cuba. They arrived on the island Nov. 15 with the medicines and supplies necessary to face COVID-19.
The caravan arrived in Cuba even while there is an ongoing campaign to discredit Cuba’s government, by people who want to promote an uprising in the Caribbean country.
Pastors for Peace has representatives from several U.S. states; their members’ main demand is the cessation of the economic, commercial, and financial blockade the United States has on the island, which affects the Cuban people.
In their journey through the Greater Antilles the caravan members visited the Afro Cuban city of Matanzas, and Gail Walker, daughter of the Rev. Lucius Walker and director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, said: “It is always good to return to Matanzas, the City of Bridges, for what it represents in the resistance of Cuba. Many young people are coming for the first time and we have a global vision of what our support for the Island means.”
One young person who took part in the caravan for the first time this year is Tahia Islam, a member of The People’s Forum in New York. Islam was amazed to see the support that the government gives to the population, leaving no one helpless.
The young pastor Tania Lozano, who participated alongside her parents in the Pastors for Peace caravan also shared her experience: “The existence of strong propaganda against Cuba and my parents’ stories about the tranquility and beauty of this island motivated me to follow their path.”
While in Matanzas, caravan members shared with the people, visited socio-cultural projects, and exchanged ideas with interreligious leaders.
Gloria La Riva, who is with the Socialism and Liberation Party, acknowledged that in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, vaccines were developed in Cuba and the pandemic was dealt with.
Pastors for Peace is a project of the Interfaith Foundation for Community Organizing, and was formed in response to former President Ronald Reagan’s aggressive policy against Latin American countries.
The Caravan was created in 1988 and has been traveling to Cuba since 1992. This is the 31st expedition of love, peace, and solidarity that they bring to the Greater Antilles.