Pastors for Peace’s Shameful Visit to Cuba

Lloyd Billingsley is the author of Hollywood Party and From Mainline to Sideline. His work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Reason and many other publications.


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Caravan co-director Gail Walker told reporters that supporting the Cuban Five, “is an extension of our faith as people of conscience.” Walker is the daughter of Pastors for Peace founder Rev. Lucius Walter, a former associate general secretary of the National Council of Churches. In 2000, Rev. Walker formed a national committee to return Elian Gonzalez, then only six years old, to Cuba. When Cuban dictator Fidel Castro visited New York, the Rev. Walker, who died in 2010, arranged Castro’s meetings.

Caravan co-director Rev. Luis Barrios bills himself as a “liberation theologian” but during the trip the clergyman issued no call for Cubans to be liberated from a regime that, according to Amnesty International, remains a one-party state that restricts the freedom of expression, association and assembly. None of the Pastors for Peace issued a manifesto for internationally supervised free elections, with multiple parties, a true choice for voters, and no fear of intimidation.

Pastors for Peace thus gave humanitarian aid to a nation they claimed is a model of healthcare, education and job opportunities, as Sandino Gomez put it. They maintained silence on human rights violations and remained uncritical of the Communist Castro regime. They ignored Cuban dissidents but defended agents of the Castro regime who spied on the United States and facilitated attacks on those who flee Cuba. And of course they denounced the U.S. embargo.

But remember, this was not a matter of politics but “faith and conscience,” as Gail Walker said. Little wonder that Cuba’s Jose Marti Cultural Society gave Pastors for Peace its highest award “La Utilidad de la Virtud,” (the utility of virtue), reserved for “prominent figures and institutions that promote and defend the foundations of the Cuban nation.”

Pastors for Peace are the last worshipful defenders of a loathsome Marxist-Sadist regime. They would be wise not to be in Cuba when that regime comes tumbling down, which cannot be long delayed.

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  • Rifleman

    They look like worshipers of marx, pretending to be Christians. They are doing for castro what their comrades before them did for stalin.

  • oldtimer

    2Peter 2:1…But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you……

  • AlgerHiss

    About 20 years ago, I had to stop watching M.A.S.H. reruns: Mike Farrell is such a horrid little puke.

  • tagalog

    Liberation theology, ho-hum… One would hope that they would at least have the integrity to come all of the way out of the leftist closet and declare themselves for the revolutionary side. At least then we'd have clarity. Not that we don't have it now.

    They remind me of the people who call for revolution, then when you take them to mean revolution, they tell you they really mean rapid change without violence. Oh, right, that kind of revolution, got it…

    • johnnywoods

      tagalog, I have read the entire Bible almost 100 times but I have never found "Liberation Theology" in there . Wonder where they get that from? Ho-hum indeed.

      • tagalog

        I doubt that the Bible has any references to "theology" either. I might have missed something somewhere in my reading of the Bible, but I interpret God in the Bible as the "I am that I am" kind of being that He says He is to Moses.

  • Brujo Blanco

    When one visits places such as N Korea or Cuba the visit is supervised by government officials. These officials control what you see, hear, and read. Rich liberals from the States will make a visit and self identify as an expert on the country they visit. These two countries imprison and/or exexcute political dissidents. The American left will not acknowledge this. This information is so blatant that I am satisfied that the left lies about the nature of these countries.

    • johnnywoods

      Ya think?

  • Ghostwriter

    Cuba is the last place I would ever visit. I would sooner drown myself than go there.

    • johntevault

      Perhaps your ignorance would be dispelled by a visit to see for yourself instead of sucking up the slop dished out to the poor USans by the government subsidized US press.
      I have visited Cuba at least 10 times. I have never, NEVER been supervised in any way at any time. Like all people living there, I have complete freedom to move around the island. You should go before the Mafia returns to try to make it into the whorehouse and playground for the rich USans before the war of liberation.
      Free the Cuban Five!

  • HighPressure

    I wondered if they visited real Pastors" in Castro's Prisons?

  • jmz

    of course they are for peace. pease contrary to popular belief is very easy…just give up freedom, and free will and wahhhhhlaaahhh. you have peace. its quite tru. the most peaceful nations are the most oppressive. the peace is only disrupted when individuality emerges and disrupts the collective mindset. as long as nothing changes and nothing moves then you will have peace. personally i rather have freedom than peace, dont you

  • pedro animala

    What ignorance…that is all I have to say. A few more brains like these and usamerica will soon start hating little puppies, too. What is it that you fear from Cuba, the truth?

    • jmz

      lol what truth? the truth that cubans are oppressed under communist dictators? communist are weak minded small dictators pretending to be noble. nobody in america is risking like and limb to go live in cuba. but you sure do have 1 hell of alot of people trying to flee cuba. why is that. people who support the filthy cuban govt are slaves nothing more so afraid of freedom that they would rather live as slaves than free people. only foolish libs who never lived under oprressive regimes thinks communism is cool. commies wouldnt know the truth if their facist state run media gave it to them at gunpoint. #GODBLESSAMERICAANDCAPITIALISM4EVER

  • mlcblog

    My daughter was invited on one of the student type trips there and saw nothing but glorious communism. Everything very lovely and working well. !!!!!!!!!!! (my own daughter!)

  • johntevault

    Dear me! This is just astonishing how USans have such strong convictions about a place they have never visited and people that they have never met.
    Free yourself. Go to Cuba. It's easy, legally or illegally.
    I went one of my ten trips with Pastors for Peace, working to help rebuild schoold destroyed by the 2008 hurricanes, for 6 weeks, and stayed another 2 weeks to attend a conference and visit family and friends there.
    What a beautiful, free people!
    Try it. You will wonder how you could have held onto your ignorant opinions for so long.

  • http://www.whatsupdownunder.com.au/ Sarah R. Richarson

    I fear repercussions for religious themed caravans. It is no way to actuate and align humanitarian caravans if we made striking with over-zealous emphasis on religious symbols.