by Augusta Girard, Promoting Enduring Peace
For decades the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/Pastors for Peace has been working for an alternative people-to-people foreign policy. PEP has supported the work of IFCO for many years, having given their 1993 Gandhi Peace Award to Reverend Lucius Walker, Jr., founder of IFCO, and recently having had Gail Walker, Director of IFCO, in New Haven deliver a lecture on “Why the World Needs Cuba.” Embracing this long overdue victory we will continue our support and work to end the Cuban blockade once and for all.
Today, we join the Cuban people in celebrating a successful step toward new diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba!
We applaud President Obama for acting on the desire of the vast majority of people in the US – and Cuba – who want normal relations between our two countries.
While this is a step toward what we’ve been working for, there’s still much to be worked out and analyzed. We know that the right-wing won’t go down without a fight. Our Work Continues!
Although we commend President Obama’s action in releasing the remaining members of the Cuban Five and taking steps to normalize relations with Cuba, we know that there will be ‘blowback’ from the right-wing who need Cuba as an enemy.
The National Network on Cuba, which PEP has been a member of for over 20 years, released a statement in part saying:
“The recent focus on Cuba including today’s release of the Five, the upcoming Summit of the Americas, exposure of USAID’s nefarious efforts to subvert Cuban society, and the Cuban medical missions fighting Ebola, present an opportunity for all of us committed to Cuban solidarity. We must now increase the demands that all aspects of the blockade be lifted, that Cuba be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, and that the Cuban right to self-determination and sovereignty be respected.”
Please call the White House or email President Obama and say “Thank You.”
Email your senators and members of Congress! Let them know you support normalization of relations and a repeal of the Helms-Burton and Torricelli legislation against Cuba.