U.S. Department of the Treasury releases blocked CLAI VI General Assembly funds

July 12, 2013

QUITO, Ecuador

In an announcement on June 27, the Rev. Nilton Giese, general secretary of the Latin American Council of Churches (CLAI), announced that the funds destined to cover the costs of its assembly in Havana and embargoed by U.S. authorities as part of the economic blockade against Cuba, have been released.

In his announcement, Giese said that “after a difficult period of much concern and tension, today we have good news to give. We have just received the letter from the Department of the Treasury of the United States of America, informing us that the blocked funds are being returned.” 

Giese continued by giving thanks “to God for this victory and to all the people who prayed so that this moment of the news of the returning of the funds would be possible. But we also want to thank our brother Martín Coria and Church World Service (CWS) for the support they have given us through legal accompaniment in this process of recuperating the blocked funds.” 

The general secretary of the continental ecumenical organization headquartered here pointed out however, that “the commercial, economic and financial blockade against the people of Cuba still continues.

“We pray in gratitude to God for the victory, but we also pray for the children with cancer in Cuba that cannot receive the appropriate medicine for their treatment, because the blockade does not allow them to have access to these medicines.”

Giese ended by saying that “as CLAI we need to continue seeking incidence so that one day we are able to give the good news that this blockade also no longer exists. Let us continue praying and working for the end of this blockade.” 

Originally scheduled for February of this year, the CLAI Assembly took place in Havana May 20-26.

Editor’s note: Jerry L. Van Marter and Eva Stimson of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) provided English-language reporting of the Assembly for CLAI.

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