Pro-Cuba Group Says U.S. Seized Canadian Computers

You may have read my article about Pastors for Peace trying to defy the U.S. embargo on cuba, well here is an update.

From an article in Reuters Canada:

HAVANA (Reuters) – A religious group that gathers humanitarian aid for Cuba urged U.S. authorities on Friday to release 12 Canadian computers seized at the U.S-Mexican border under American sanctions against Cuba’s communist government.

The 43 boxes of computer equipment donated by Canadians were en route to Cuba in an annual caravan organized by the Pastors for Peace group when they were seized last week by U.S. border officials at McAllen, Texas.

“These were Canadian computers that were confiscated by U.S. customs,” said Genevieve Mutschler, a volunteer from the Canadian province of British Columbia. “They were sent from Canada in support of Cuba in its struggle against the U.S. embargo.”

Pastors for Peace, a humanitarian group based in San Francisco, has delivered 2,500 metric tons of aid to Cuba in 16 years, including medical equipment such as operating tables and incubators, but also second-hand school buses and computers.

Treasury spokeswoman Molly Millerwise said anyone wanting to deliver aid to Cuba must apply for a license with the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Treasury office that administers U.S. economic sanctions programs.

The seizure of the computers by the Commerce Department shows a new effort by the U.S. government to strengthen the blockade against Cuba,” the Rev. Tom Smith told reporters.

American members of the solidarity caravan face arrest and fines of up to $10,000 for violating the U.S. sanctions on Cuba when they return to the United States over the weekend.

U.S. Reps. Charles Rangel and Jose Serrano, New York Democrats who oppose the embargo, urged Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez to permit the release of the computer equipment.

I don’t care who donated the computers, they were being smuggled into Mexico for the purpose of bringing them to Cuba. They were lawfully seized, and should serve as a message to Canadians attempting to thumb their noses at the U.S. If Canadians plan on helping Cuba, I suggest they do not use our borders.

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