Thursday, July 3, 2008

Honor revolution today 1-800-540-6322

Click for the audio--then proceed (video not really the point, but the audio--heaven!)

The blockade-busting Caravan to Cuba with Pastors for Peace burst out of the U.S. yesterday. They did lose 32 computers--an event explicitly documented by Janine Bancroft on her blog--to U.S. government confiscation. But the caravanistas are on their way to Cuba undaunted.
Janine asks: "PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE, THE MEDIA, OR THE U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to voice concern at these actions at 1-800-540-6322."
B.E. affirms: Citizen pressure has been quite effective in releasing goods destined for donation after their confiscation by the OFAC in past Cuba caravans.

Ten years ago I was a caravanista. It was a memorable moment in my life, perhaps my proudest moment. I hope in the upcoming days to tell a story or two--fond memories of the glory days, much like an aged athlete recalls the time his high school basketball team won the state championship.

For today, I'll content myself with recalling the small bands of folk groups who entertained the caravan in countless little receptions during our travels throughout the island country. Without fail "Hasta Siempre, Comandante Che Guevara" was on their play list. I had never heard it before. The groups almost prayed the song, performing it with unmistakable devotion--hymn-like. I fell in love with it, and each time it was performed I would hang on each syllable transfixed, afraid that I'd never hear it again. Thanks to the Buena Vista Social Club which released not long afterward, my fear never materialized; the song is readily available.
It is an apt song for July 4, the day we remember our heritage of revolution in the U.S. Sadly although our C.I.A. assassinated Che, providing another example of how we have moved from being revolutionaries to squelching the movements of the people's revolutions, perhaps I can resolve to be at least revolutionary enough to make a toll-free call and request insist that the donations of computers to hospitals and schools in Cuba be sent on their way.

This being a government holiday and a three day weekend, this may be an exercise in futility. But I'll give it a whirl and maybe it'll turn into a story to tell here next week. If you try, I'd love to hear your experience. Hasta la victoria siempre, Compas.
Hasta Siempre, Che Guevara


dada said...

Oh boy! Just what many of us have been waiting to hear. Stories from the revolutionary's heart.

Seriously, really looking forward to some of your stories, B.E.

All day yesterday I kept trying to find out how the attempted border crossing went for the PfP carvanistas. Have to say, it was frustrating because there's just a whole dearth of news.

Finally, last night an e-mail from A.N.S.W.E.R. arrived telling of the computer seizures.

But they made it across and we shall call this weekend, but I know how much it must scare the hell out of the U.S. that Cuban schools and hospitals should get a few computers.

Thanks for the update!

FranIAm said...

Gracias por este post!

Brava BE!!

I love that you say insist with the loving force that you do.

INSIST - beautiful.

Border Explorer said...

Thanks to you, Dada, I'm all riled up again about the caravan. I haven't called yet, but I will. Yes, imagine how it would threaten U.S. security if hospitals in Cuba had better comuputers. Shocking!!

One thing slowing down my Cuba-posting process is that all my photos are in 35mm slide format. And: first, I have to FIND them (10 years and 2-3 moves ago--yikes!). I'll get on it.

Fran-You-Is, I'm so happy you visit me here. Gracias. I immediately knew I'd love you when I saw you were an ENFP. We INFP's love you guys because you can say everything we believe in and say it so well. Also thanks for noticing I'm working on my html.

People, these two commenters have smokin' blogs. Don't miss 'em.

dada said...

B.E. I'm so honored for you to say that! I mean, coming from you, the first Communist I've ever known firsthand, it's a real honor. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, "know what I mean, know what I mean" [thanks Monte Python for that])

Seriously though, I forgot to thank you for the YouTube video. It's beautiful, and this music resonates deeply with me. (TY, TY, TY!)

Off topic but, there was a mariachi song that was the most beautiful I'd ever heard. I don't know if it was something I encountered in a movie - I don't remember. And I have since searched and searched for this song w/o success. I think the day I find it will be the day I fall into my freshly dug, but as yet unoccupied grave!

DivaJood said...

An acquaintance of mine just returned from Cuba - not part of the Pastors for Peace, but she was part of an educational visit. At any rate, I will call now that the holiday is over. And I look forward to your first hand experiences.

eProf2 said...

Thanks, BE, for the update on the PfP journey as well as the Postville, IA, situation. One has a reasonable chance for success going into Cuba while the ICE will take down more human dignity than imaginable. The killing fields of Lomas and Chihuahua are unbelievably horrible. I'm always left with the question in these matters: Why does violence almost always seem to win out?

Border Explorer said...

Thanks for weighing in, eProf. You're so right. Going to Cuba is rewarding, actually. You can see the challenge and the accomplishment. It is so concrete. On the other hand, I feel so helpless and afraid in the face of the Mexican violence. All I can think of to do refuse to ignore it.