Why the World Needs Cuba
by Augusta Girard, Program Director, Promoting Enduring Peace
On Nov. 13, PEP had Gail Walker of IFCO/Pastors for Peace come to New Haven to talk about her organization, her thoughts on Cuban American relations and Cuba’s role in the world. With over 15 years of involvement with IFCO, she staffed more than 15 caravans of humanitarian aid to Cuba and Central America and worked extensively with marginalized communities including the Garifuna in Honduras and Nicaragua. With 40 people in attendance, Ms. Walker spoke for an hour.
The following are excerpts from her speech: “Cuba continues to be an example on so many different levels. An example of environ-mental sustainability is that successful Cuban models in areas of food, housing and health are now widely replicated throughout Latin America. Cuba also leads the world in hurricane planning and as an island nation is acutely aware and already researching climate change vulnerability of coastal zones. It’s also created an alternative model of development that places ecology and humanity at its core. So it’s become a world leader in ecological, organic farming and urban agriculture.”
“In short it is clear that there are changing attitudes around Cuba, whether it be in the Cuban American community where there’s been pole after pole, which have been quite fascinating… amongst more politically conservative politicians and mainstream media… It’s just the fact that there are one after another that are kind of really speaking out about this 50 plus year old antiquated outdated – fill in the blank – policy I think is impressive and hopefully significant and will mean things will change.”
“It does seem that Cuba is certainly more visible today than it’s been in the longest time and my hope is that we – collectively we – IFCO, Pastors for Peace – we as a network of people that are interested in peace and changing attitudes whether it be here in Connecticut or across the country will be the voices that will continue to rise up and speak out against the blockade and work to see it lifted once and for all.”
For the entire speech go to PEPeace.org (Homepage slider).