Category Archives: Pastors for Peace

IRS attacks Pastors for Peace

IRS attacks Pastors for Peace
After over seven years of harassment and intimidation by the IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service), the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/ Pastors for Peace has been informed that its status as a non-profit organization will be revoked due to its humanitarian work in Cuba
Author: Cubadebate | internet@granma.cu
august 25, 2016 18:08:34
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The IRS is attempting to revoke the IFCO’s non-profit tax exempt status. Photo: Cubadebate
After over seven years of harassment and intimidation by the IRS (U.S. Internal Revenue Service), the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO)/ Pastors for Peace has been informed that its status as a non-profit organization will be revoked due to its humanitarian work in Cuba.
The IRS audit began in 2009 citing the IFCO’s humanitarian aid to Cuba and fiscal sponsorship of a humanitarian flotilla that delivered aid to Palestine. According to a statement published on the organization’s website, “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 IRS’ decision comes in the context of a process of rapprochement and normalization of relations between Cuba and the U.S., announced on December 17, 2014, by Cuban and U.S. Presidents Raúl Castro and Barack Obama, respectively.
Since 1992, the IFCO, through the Pastors for Peace project, has organized friendship caravans to Cuba, bringing over 4,000 tons of humanitarian aid in the form of school supplies, medicines and 300 buses.
In 2009 alone, when the audit began, the organization had donated eight school buses, two trucks and 100 tons of medical supplies to churches, schools, hospitals and NGOs across the island.
In the same statement the IFCO also noted that “We challenge the ability of the IRS to make this claim…OFAC, fully aware of our annual caravans not accepting government licenses, has never prosecuted us. How is it that IRS now has the right to strip us of our tax-exempt status?”
The IFCO is a multi-issue national ecumenical agency founded in 1967 by progressive church leaders and activists. It has been working for almost five decades to support oppressed peoples around the world and struggles for justice and self-determination. As such it promotes, funds and coordinates domestic and international community development efforts and administers the scholarship program for students from underprivileged communities in the U.S. to study medicine at Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine.

Pastors for Peace celebrate Fidel Castro’s birthday during Cuba tour

Pastors for Peace celebrate Fidel Castro’s birthday during Cuba tour
Lucius presented Fidel with a bible, to which the latter responded that the book was not yet complete as many pages of love and solidarity – such as the work undertaken by the Pastors for Peace Caravan – still remained to be written…

Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu
august 3, 2016 15:08:50

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Speaking to the press Gail Walker, executive director of the U.S. project Pastors for Peace noted that a range of activities in honor of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro’s 90th birthday, August 13, are set to take place in various states around the country, including New York. Photo: Eduardo Palomares

My father felt a great respect for Fidel and always said that there was no contradiction between faith and the principles of the Cuban Revolution, stated Gail Walker, executive director of the U.S. project Pastors for Peace and daughter of the late Reverend Lucius Walker, founder of the U.S.-Cuba Friendship Caravan, which has been undertaking solidarity work with the island since 1992.
Speaking before national and international press in Havana, the outstanding activist highlighted numerous activities taking place in honor of the Comandante en Jefe’s 90th birthday, August 13, in various U.S. states, including New York City where she lives.
One of the tributes will include placing a commemorative plaque in the Theresa Hotel, located in New York’s Harlem neighborhood and where Fidel, then Prime Minister of Cuba, stayed while attending the 15th United Nations General Assembly, in 1960. At that time the Cuban delegation was scheduled to stay at the Manhattan hotel, but was denied entry by the institution’s management. On hearing the news, African American leader Malcolm X invited the Cubans to Harlem where they were welcomed by local community members, who kept watch over the hotel day and night. 
Walker noted that the project is planning to install a statue of Fidel with Malcolm X sometime in the near future.

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