Our good friend George Utset from the Real Cuba has been passing along questions to Dr. Darsi Ferrer in Cuba from readers. The first question is excellent, and it asks Dr. Ferrer just what happens to all the “humanitarian aid” that Pastors for Peace claims it has delivered to Cuba.
Via The Real Cuba Blog:
Question from StoneCuban: Dear Dr. Ferrer, You inspire me through your willingness to help the sick and the needy. Pastors for Peace claims to have delivered 5 shipments (Friendshipment) of humanitarian aid to Cuba from 1992 to 1995. All 5 shipments of humanitarian aid were distributed with the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center in Havana, the Cuban Council of Churches and a distribution committee with representatives from ten different Cuban denominations to deliver US-Cuba Friendshipments.
Would it be true to say all these shipments were “fairly” distributed?
Answer from Dr. Darsi Ferrer: It is a great encouragement to know that you would consider our social work as positive, it doesn’t have any other motivation that to mitigate, with our modest possibilities, the sufferings of those compatriots who are in need and without any hope of having a solution for their problems.
On several occasions members of the organization Pastors for Peace have traveled to Cuba to donate vital resources. I’m not aware of the exact number of times this has taken place nor of the shipments that have been delivered.
It is known that both the Martin Luther King Center and the Cuban Council of Churches respond openly to the policies and interests of the Cuban government. These are not independent institutions; to the contrary, they show a high level of submission to the ruling elite.
In no way do these organizations project themselves based on the aspirations and welfare of the people. However, they do support all the campaigns mounted by the authorities of the regime. Take as a reference their struggle for the release of the five Cuban spies imprisoned in the U.S. (which they consider as heroes), the condemnation of the embargo (which they consider a blockade), their protests against the sanctions against the Cuban government by the European Union to Cuba (which they consider media campaigns), among others.
They have never spoken in support of the respect for the fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights of Cubans. Nor to expose the plight of Cuban prisons where, in addition, freedom of worship or religious assistance is not allowed.
Therefore it is easy to deduce that all aid received by these organizations has been distributed as planned by the government, at their convenience and interests. I doubt that these resources have at any time been distributed among the marginalized that barely survive in filthy slums or among the thousands of Cubans housed in deplorable conditions, most of them poor and black.