Letter from Cynthia Heil, Chapter 099 member, submitted to and printed by the Asheville Citizen-Times:
I was privileged to be one of a 60-person CODEPINK: Women for Peace delegation attending the Fourth International Conference on Peace and the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases, November 23-25, in Guantanamo, Cuba. The delegation's purpose was to represent the US, celebrate increased diplomatic relations between the US and Cuba, and join Cuba's call for closing the US navy base and returning Cuba's land.
I acted on this opportunity for outreach to Cubans during this time of renewing relations with our neighbor to exchange ideas on issues critical to both cultures.
Thanksgiving Day, following the conference, many CODEPINK delegates fasted 24 hours in solidaarity with Guantanamo prisoners who are on hunger strides for justice.
"We came...to Guantanamo...to call for closure of the Americfal prison where so many horrific human rights abuses have occurred", said CODEPINK organizer and delegate Nancy Mancias. "I will be fasting with 49 other delegates on a day that is historically known for sitting around a meal table...."
Our delegation is committed to closing the US base that has occupied land in Cuba for over a century and lifting the US embargo that has strangled Cuba's economy for over 60 years.