The Caravanistas participating the 23rd Friendshipment caravan organized by IFCO/Pastors for Peace who were held up at the border of Vancouver and Washington State are free and on their way to Cuba!!!
After a 24-hour struggle ALL the aid the Caravanistas were carrying was delivered across the Canadian border to the United States WITHOUT a license and WITHOUT the payment of a bond. Customs officials had initially insisted that a bond needed to be paid in order for the aid to be transported across the border. Last year, Caravanistas encountered the same problem but with the help of legal counsel were able to successfully argue that humanitarian aid is exempt from the bond requirement. We held our ground then and we did so again at Vancouver.
On Sunday July 1st, US customs stopped a truck full of humanitarian aid destined for Cuba. This shipment of aid is part of the 23rd Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba, and includes items such as medical supplies like wheelchairs, educational supplies and sports equipment which were collected from various cities and communities throughout British Columbia, Canada.
The truck of aid was stopped at the West Coast Peace Arch Border Crossing and diverted to the commercial Pacific Truck Border Crossing with the excuse that the caravanistas were transporting commercial goods and needed to purchase a bond to enter the US. This same scenario played out at last year’s border crossing, which ended in victory for the caravan as humanitarian aid is exempt from having to purchase a bond.