Date: Fri, 1 Aug 97 18:17:35 CDT
From: Marpessa Kupendua <>
Subject: !*U.S. Youth Banned from Havana Festival

From: "Compa~ero" <>
Date: Thu, 31 Jul 1997 21:27:30 -5

Reverend Lucius Walker: Special Invited Guest to the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students

From Granma International. 30 July, 1997

Havana, July 30(RHC)-- Today is the third day of the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students. Delegates are discussing major international issues, such as peace, participatory democracy and the environment, among many other issues.

One of the special invited guests to the Youth Festival under way here in Havana is the Reverend Lucius Walker, Executive Director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, IFCO, and Pastors for Peace. Speaking with Radio Havana Cuba, Reverend Walker referred to the challenge of U.S. youth who are breaking the law by coming here to Havana for the 14th World Festival of Youth and Students.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Treasury Department denied special permission for the young people, forcing them to break the U.S. blockade of Cuba.

"The only way social progress has been made in our country -- and this is probably true in other countries -- is that people challenge injustice and seek to change unjust and repressive laws. So I think that the young people who are coming are very wise, very patriotic and ought to be commended for seeking to make their country and the world a better place in which to live. I think that people who are practitioners of the Christian faith ought to obey a higher law, rather than any unjust, repressive law which would deny freedom to people."

"For example, I'm an African-American. And the only reason I have the right to vote is because some of my forbearers decided to challenge the law which denied us the right to vote. So I think that my Christian responsibility is to break unjust laws -- such as the U.S. blockade against Cuba -- and to call our country into an accountability for a higher level of morality."

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