On Monday, 150 members from the 40th contingent of the Venceremos Brigade returned from their ten-day solidarity and education trip to Cuba. The brigadistas openly acknowledged their trip as an act of civil disobedience while crossing back into the U.S. via Canada and has challenged the US to review its unfair and unconstitutional stance on the Cuban island and its people.
As a former member of the brigade, I know full well the importance of having an exchange with the Cuban people who live on the island. The policy has been in effect for over 50 years and the original implementation was conducted with a blatantly racist and inhumane mindset. During my visit many of the former stories about the brainwashing of the Cuban people were dispelled and I learned very quickly that the U.S. has a lot to learn from the ways that Cuba made an accessible universal health care and universal education system work with very little means.
The travel ban has limited the exchange of economic and trade materials to the island and has also affected the way other countries are able to trade with the Cuban people.
The Venceremos Brigade travels to Cuba every summer to challenge the US Travel ban and will continue to do so until the ban is lifted.
In addition to the Venceremos crossing, about 130 members of the US-Cuba Friendshipment Caravan organized by the New York-based Pastors for Peace, also re-entered the United States at the Hidalgo International Bridge from Reynosa, Mexico.
For more information the the Venceremos Brigade, please visit http://www.venceremosbrigade.net/.