Friday, July 17, 2009

"Remove us from your e-mail list please," was the terse response from my favorite El Paso TV news station (KTSM)...

...when I sent them information on the impending overnight El Paso stay of the Pastors for Peace caravan on their way to Cuba, thinking it might be newsworthy.

Maybe it was just some auto-bot response from their computer system. Or maybe whoever received my e-mail was just having a bad day or hasn't yet taken their introductory PR 101 correspondence class (or worse, flunked it). Or perhaps times are so tough the station no longer even has a news staff, just a news room e-mail address. Or, OR ... WORST OF ALL!, maybe anything with the words peace and "Cuba" in the same sentence is verboten news.

But it was news to me!


i'm not sure why the usa is considered 'the most powerful nation in the world.' they can't get an invite to my home, so what's so powerful about them? so what if they can blow everybody up. that's not power, that's cowardice. they can kill me, but they can't make me love them. ~Janine Bancroft (of Victoria, Coast Salish Territories, Canada, on her second consecutive pilgrimage to Cuba)

One of three Pastors for Peace buses that converged in
El Paso from different routes to spend Thursday night here.

As I blogged here Wednesday, last evening was spent at the local Unitarian Universalist Church which hosted members of the Pastors for Peace for a pot luck dinner and overnight stay.

While my Wednesday blog about this event focused on the caravan transporting hard-to-get goods to Cuba due to the irrational decades old U.S. blockade of that island nation, I'd like to expound on another, even more important purpose of these annual treks in direct violation of U.S. law that was pointed out by one of the group's speakers last eve, Lisa Valenti.

This is the 20th year such breaking of U.S. law by these pilgrims has occurred, and Lisa Valenti has been on each one of those Pastors for Peace journeys. I was going to try to put into my own words Lisa's words. But that's already been done by Janine Bancroft, author of the QUOTE of the day (above).

I'd ask Janine's permission to use her description of their mission as expressed by Lisa, but that's not possible at the moment. You see, Janine, Lisa and the other courageous 'caravanista' adventurers are presently pounding pavement on those three buses headed for tonight's destination, San Antonio.

So, in Janine's words sans her permission, here is the crux of Lisa's message last night as to the real purpose of these annual missions to Cuba. (Dada note: As you read Janine's critique of U.S. policy, keep in mind she's from Canada for those Americans who read it that may respond, "Blasphemy!" or some other "B" word -- "Be nice! I was thinking, 'Bullshit!' But chill. As a U.S. citizen, I find Janine's words pretty damn accurate.)

Janine: "lisa offers her inspiring talk each night, and asks folks to consider that this yearly pilgrimage to cuba isn't an annual picnic but is part of a strategic and purposeful attempt to encourage 'the most powerful nation in the world' to put their big fat ego aside, admit they lost the freakin' revolution 50 years ago, and allow the good law abiding tax paying citizens of the land of the free an opportunity to travel to cuba so we can witness that there is indeed a different way to shape the world - perhaps not a perfect one, nor one we'd want to copy precisely, but something that offers health care and education and is difficult to forget once you've seen it. as lisa says, if cuba was really under the spell of the evil dictator as the evil capitalist greedheads claim it to be, every usa citizen would be offered a free ticket to go witness the evil. but they're not under that spell - they're doing something vastly different than anywhere else in the world, and the stupid and cruel usa government simply can't have its citizens witnessing it. and realizing they've been lied to. again. still."

After a year, Dada finally meets fellow blogger, Janine Bancroft, caravanista AND editor of
the Victoria Street News,
a "viable alternative to corporate or government controlled media."

Meeting Janine was a highlight of the evening. I know, from the photo above, one might get the impression from the intensity of our conversation that we were disagreeing on the proper way to change the flattened inside rear tire of an old bus ladened with tons of goods bound for Cuba, but you would be wrong. Yes, we admittedly are looking tense but, hey, if you think about it, saving humanity from itself is a pretty intense subject!


Fran said...

The wheels of the bus turn slowly in the case of progressing to being neighbors with our neighbors- Cuba.
If they can;t work out all the kinks in opening the border to Cuba, the least they can do is Humanitarian Aid. Helping people- such as delivering much needed medical supplies should never be illegal.

Don't get me started on how we can ship bombs & massive troops halfway across the world....
that is considered reasonable, justified and affordable?

"Nuff said.

Dada said...

Fran: I like the juxtaposition of your imagery - the difficulty getting some boxes of medicines a few computers over a watery border to aid our American neighbors in a small island nation 90 miles away vs. shipping tons and tons of bombs, munitions, and hundreds of thousands of bodies tens of thousands of miles away to destroy humanity on the other side of the Earth.

But you might want to bookmark Janine Bancroft's Victoria Street Newz in case you ever "get started" and want a place to spout off. It may be just place to express yourself to your northern neighbors!

Fran said...

Thanks for the tip.... looks good.

D.K. Raed said...

"lied to. again. still."

so true it hurts...

ps, cuba and the U.S. are both in the same boat, looking to get cheap canadian medications smuggled into our sytems?