25th Friendshipment Caravan Arrives in Cuba
August 7, 2014
In late July, the 25th U.S.-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan successfully arrived in Cuba. The friendshipments are organized in defiance of the U.S. government's embargo and blockade. In addition to providing direct assistance to the people of Cuba, the friendshipments are part of the political struggle against the U.S. government's cold-war policy of pressure and interference against Cuba.
The caravan, sponsored by the Pastors for Peace organization, carried medical equipment, school materials, computers and other items to the Cuban people. The aid was collected by the caravan as it traveled throughout Canada, the U.S. and Mexico, stopping in 65 cities and communities. At each stop, in addition to collecting aid from local churches, community organizations, solidarity groups, etc., the Caravan organized various meetings and discussions to oppose the U.S. blockade.
Although the U.S. government has repeatedly threatened and harassed sponsors of the Friendshipment Caravans, the caravans have continued to grow with tens of thousands of people making donations and helping to organize the friendshipments.
For more than 50 years, the U.S. government has persisted in its cold-war policy towards Cuba despite opposition from almost every nation in the world. The UN has passed a number of resolutions demanding that the U.S. end its illegal trade embargo and condemning the U.S. policy as a violation of the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-intervention in their internal affairs.
The U.S. aggressive foreign policy toward Cuba has included direct military intervention, threats of nuclear annihilation, and even assassination attempts on Fidel Castro organized by the CIA. The blockade, first enacted in 1962, imposes a total ban on all food, medicine, equipment and raw materials from the U.S. and prohibits free travel between the two countries. The embargo was further tightened in 1992 by passage of the "Torricelli Bill" which, in a blatant violation of the sovereignty of other states, imposed sanctions against other countries that trade with Cuba. Overall, the economic blockade has resulted in untold hardship on the Cuban people, denying them medical and humanitarian supplies as well as the raw materials, energy and spare parts necessary to maintain the country's industrial base.
This aggressive U.S. policy violates the sovereignty of Cuba and aims at overthrowing the government and social system in Cuba and imposing a U.S. puppet regime. U.S. imperialism still morbidly dreams of returning to the days when Cuba was its direct colony and the big U.S. corporations were able to plunder the wealth and mercilessly exploit the labor of the Cuban people.