Washington, Jul 18.- The Thirteenth Annual Friendshipment Caravan sponsored by Pastors for Peace arrived today in McAllen, Texas, where it is preparing to cross the border into Mexico, carrying 100 tons of humanitarian supplies for Cuba, collected in Canada and the United States.
According to the website for the philanthropic project, in defiance of the blockade imposed by Washington against the Caribbean island, Caravan leaders will announce upcoming activities this afternoon at a press conference to be held at a local Christian church.
The convoy is expected to cross the border tomorrow and continue its travels from the Mexican city of Tampico, from which it will send its cargo on to Cuba. Caravan activists are prepared to confront obstacles set up by US border guards, as in prior years, when caravans were held up and some donations were even confiscated.
"We're determined to bring this assistance to our brothers and sisters in Cuba, and our struggle will continue until this immoral, cruel and counterproductive blockade by the US against Cuba is ended," said Reverend Luis Barrios, co-director of the humanitarian initiative.
A number of organizations in solidarity with Cuba will participate in a cultural program this Friday, protesting the economic, financial and commercial blockade imposed by the White House for more than half a century, in spite of protests from the international community at the United Nations General Assembly, for 20 consecutive years.
The Friendshipment Caravan has visited almost 90 cities in both Mexico and the US. Its activists confirm having received donations and support from residents in all these places along the way, supporting an immediate end to the coercive blockade whose damages to Cuba exceed $975 billion, according to calculations from Havana.
The donations include buses and sporting goods, health and educational products for the sectors hardest hit by Washington´s hostile policies.
More than 60 Canadian, US, German, UK and Mexican citizens are part of the current Friendshipment Caravan which is expected to arrive in Cuba on Saturday.
The late US Reverend Lucius Walker came up with the idea for this solidarity movement in 1992, with the objective of breaking the blockade and bringing humanitarian assistance and medicines to Cuba in yellow school buses, without asking for permission or licenses from US authorities. (Radio Cadena Agramonte).