A truckful of humanitarian aid from Canada is now bound for Cuba after U.S. customs officials finally granted it entry into the United States.
U.S. customs officials initially prevented the truck, which is part of an annual Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba organized by Canadian aid groups, from crossing Sunday (July 1) into the United States for undisclosed reasons, says The Province, a local newspaper in British Columbia. Organizers eventually secured entry Monday (July 2) after protesting outside a border gate.
The aid package includes medical supplies, educational materials, wheelchairs and sports equipment. Janine Solanki of the British Columbia Aid Network said this package would be carried through the United States to Mexico, from where they would be shipped to Cuba.
Solanki said they did not receive explanations from U.S. customs officials as to why the aid truck was held up and eventually let through.
The United States has complicated aid relations with the Caribbean nation, on which it has also imposed economic sanctions. The Western country supports some democracy-related initiatives in Cuba, but funding for these is often a hot topic in the U.S. Congress.
Read more development aid news online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.