Cuban-American caravan against the blockade arrives in Washington

Cuban-American caravan against the blockade arrives in Washington
© AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa

After travelling 5,000 kilometres by bicycle from the city of Seattle to Washington DC, the caravan led by Cuban-American professor Carlos Lazo arrived at his destination to draw attention to the US blockade of Cuba.

“We bring to President Trump the voices and the clamor of Cubans, Americans and people from all over the world who ask that bridges of love be created between the United States and Cuba and that the sanctions be lifted for the Cuban people,” Lazo told Revyuh upon arrival along with his fellow travelers on the outskirts of the White House.

This initiative, which began on July 11, has managed to add hundreds of people in more than 10 countries who have pedalled alongside them, as well as hundreds of thousands of followers who have sent as many messages of support.

“It has been a difficult task but also beautiful knowing that there are so many people around the world who pedal with us for this cause of love,” says the professor, who has lived in the United States since 1991 and who has already made other attempts to bring Cubans and Americans closer.

The biggest balance this time, in Lazo’s opinion, is the interest found in the American people themselves as they crossed the territory of 11 states.

“I did not imagine that I would have so much support from the people. We would come to the towns and when we explained what we are doing, they offered us help, they changed our tires for free. Even we have become celebrities, they tell us that they want to click photos with us and post them on Instagram,” he says.

Lazo especially highlights the support of a large part of the Cuban community residing in that country.

“The solidarity of the Cubans has been very nice, we have come to states where many Cubans have helped us to open doors, offered us a helping hand and have collaborated with funds for our trip,” he said.

But there have also been threats from the most extreme sector of Cuban exile, which from the beginning has tried to boycott the project, he explains.

Throughout the tour, Lazo has also met with different political figures to whom he has explained his point of view.

“We have had direct contact with two members of Congress, Democrat Barbara Lee and Republican Tom Emmer, representative of Minnesota.”

After reaching their destination, meetings with other politicians are planned. In addition, they await a response from the campaign office of presidential candidate Joe Biden and will even try to speak with the president, Donald Trump.

“Hopefully this is at least one link in this chain of human progress, of our peoples, if we can not say that we managed to remove the embargo, at least it is an intermediate step on that path,” he said.