New York_ Leaders of the National Council of Churches of the United States met Thursday in New York with Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel, and pledged to further promote the cause of the lifting of the blockade.

According to Cubadebate, Díaz-Canel took the opportunity to thank the many expressions of solidarity of the North American religious during the last half century, among which the battle for the return to Cuba of the child Elián González and the campaign for the liberation of the Five Heroes stand out.

"It was a meeting to celebrate the first visit of the Cuban president and also to renew mutual commitments in favor of better relations between the two countries," the president of the Council of Churches of the United States, Jim Winkler, told the press after the meeting ended.

The religious leader recalled that his organization, which includes 38 denominations meet and more than 40 million parishioners, defends the lifting of the blockade since 1968. "And we will remain committed until it is lifted and finally the restoration of relations is achieved," he ratified.

Winkler called on the Americans to talk in their own churches with their representatives in the Senate and the House, to discuss Cuba and get in touch with the White House.

Stan Hastey, member of the Council, said that the offices in Washington of the different religious denominations are kept abreast of the legislation that is presented in both houses of Congress.

"We are as committed as ever to working to break the blockade," he added.

The Reverend Joan Brown Campbell, former General Secretary of the General Council of Churches of Christ of the United States, a tireless friend of Cuba and protagonist of many of the battles in North American territory in favor of the Island, was present at the meeting with Díaz-Canel.

"The blockade has to end so we can have the relationship that we had got used to just a few years ago," Campbell said. "Relations with Cuba are extremely important for Americans."

The religious leader, one of the personalities that made the most in the United States for the return of Elián to Cuba, said that Díaz-Canel had "impressed" her.

"Those of us who have worked closely with the Cuba issue, are pleased that the president welcomes Americans who care deeply about the Cuban people," he said.

"It's our country that gets in the way, it's not yours."

 

 

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