1999 NCC News ArchivesNCC Head, Cuba Foreign Minister To Speak At Seattle "Solidarity With Cuba" Event
Dec. 3, 1999, SEATTLE ---- As the nation watches events unfold around the World Trade Organization meetings now taking place in Seattle, Wash., people will gather in a local Seattle church to show their support for the people of Cuba and reaffirm their common cause to get the United States embargo against Cuba lifted.
The "Solidarity With Cuba" event, sponsored by the Seattle Cuba Friendship Committee and supported by a broad-based coalition of secular non-governmental organizations and advocacy groups as well as church-based groups, will be held at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, 124 21st Ave., at 9 p.m.
Featured speakers will include Mr. Felipe Pérez Roque, Foreign Minister of Cuba and former personal assistant to Fidel Castro, the Rev. Dr. Joan Brown Campbell, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches (NCC) and the Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., a principal organizer of Pastors for Peace. Both the NCC and Pastors for Peace have long pressed for lifting the embargo against Cuba and have sent medicines and other supplies to aid people suffering under the embargo.
Cuban leader Fidel Castro was scheduled to attend the event but threats to his safety from the opposition Cuban American community caused him to cancel his appearance. "It is ironic that those who fled Castro's government for the freedoms of this country are now trying to deny the American public the opportunity to hear from Castro," Dr. Campbell said. "He was prepared to come and it is unfortunate that he could not."
"In the wake of the protests surrounding the World Trade Organization, this is an ideal time for us as religious and non-governmental organizations to come together and show support for the people of Cuba, especially the most vulnerable," Dr. Campbell said. "As we have been throughout our history, we are particularly concerned about the the churches in Cuba and will offer our prayers for them."
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