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IRS goes after Pastors for Peace for sending aid to Cuba | incubatoday.com

By NORA GÁMEZ TORRES
ngameztorres@elnuevoherald.com

(Editor’s note from Promoting Enduring Peace Stanley Heller: U.S. officials called the Americans who fought for the Spanish republic in the ’30’s “pre-mature anti-fascists” and treated them badly. Pastors for Peace which did such great work for Cuba and peace before Obama eased sanctions on Cuba is being treated in the same way. Stanley Heller is Administrator of and writer for Promoting Enduring Peace and hosts “The Struggle” TV News, at www.TheStruggle.org. He can be reached at stanley.heller@pepeace.org.)

In Havana, its founder, the Rev. Lucius Walker, was received like a hero.

Although the organization never applied for a license from the Office of Foreign Assets Control to bring aid to Cuba, it did not face reprisals, although U.S. authorities occasionally tried to withhold the shipments on the Mexican border.

In this file handout photo from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, a delegation from Pastors for Peace pose for a picture with Cuba's Fidel Castro, second from left, in Havana. Delegation members are, from left, Rev. Lucius Walker, Ellen Bernstein, and Rev. Tom Smith. Walker, the founder of the New York-based church group that opposes the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

In this file handout photo from IFCO/Pastors for Peace, a delegation from Pastors for Peace pose for a picture with Cuba’s Fidel Castro, second from left, in Havana. Delegation members are, from left, Rev. Lucius Walker, Ellen Bernstein, and Rev. Tom Smith. Walker, the founder of the New York-based church group that opposes the U.S. embargo of Cuba.

But Pastors for Peace now faces punishment for its charitable acts from another U.S. agency: the Internal Revenue Service. The organization was recently informed that it will it lose its tax-exempt status for failing to declare the shipments to Cuba.

The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization Pastors for Peace (IFCO), which has been audited by the IRS for the last seven years, said in a statement that the action is politically motivated.

“The IRS claimed that our work to bring humanitarian aid and build friendship with the Cuban people was done in violation of the Treasury Department’s ‘Trading with the Enemy Act,’ ” the organization said.

Source: IRS goes after Pastors for Peace for sending aid to Cuba

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