Help IFCO/Pastors for Peace

Kevin Lindemann and Cathy Campo kklcac at
Sun Nov 14 16:01:45 MST 1999

Dear Friends,


We are writing to you as "Friends of the Friendshipments," folks across
the country and the world, who support the life-saving work of the
Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) and their
many wonderful projects, including the IFCO/Pastors for Peace caravans.

ACTION: As "friends of the Friendshipment," we ask you to send a letter
to the Treasury Department supporting IFCO and requesting that they
cease and desist in their ongoing harassment of IFCO (PLEASE SEE

WHEN? THIS WEEK (arriving by 11/22/99): This is a critical point in the
deliberations; we want to show the US administration that there is
strong, broad-based support for IFCO's position against the immoral
blockade of Cuba. So, we are asking you and other friends of IFCO to
send as many letters as possible during the next 10 DAYS (arriving at
the Dept. of Treasury by Monday 11/22/99) to show support for IFCO and
their life-saving work.

WHERE? Letters should be addressed to The Hon. James Johnson, Deputy
Secretary for Enforcement, US Department of the Treasury, FAX:
202-622-5040, PHONE 202-622-1260,

WITH A COPY TO: R. RICHARD NEWCOMB, Director of Office of Foreign Assets
Control, US Department of the Treasury, FAX: 202-622-1759, PHONE:

BACKGROUND: As you already know, the US Treasury Department's Office of
Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) made a demand for IFCO's bank records last
October. IFCO has been in court since then fighting Treasury's attempt
to violate the privacy of IFCO's supporters. Most recently, IFCO's
attorneys filed hundred pages of affidavits and statements in Federal
Court to support IFCO's claim that OFAC's attempt to seize IFCO's bank
records is a violation of the privacy rights and First Amendment rights
(to association, and political and religious expression) of IFCO's
associates. This attempted seizure also violates international law
(because the embargo violates international law by depriving innocents
of food and medicine).

Deputy Secretary for Enforcement US Department of the Treasury 1500
Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20220

Dear Mr. Johnson: We are aware that your Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) is continuing in its attempt to demand bank records of
the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization. We are
supporters of IFCO's work AND we oppose the McCarthy-style tactics that
OFAC used to intimidate IFCO and its supporters.

 We support IFCO's efforts to protect the privacy of its donors,
projects, partners and friends. We further support IFCO's leadership in
bringing continued nonviolent challenges to the immoral US economic
blockade against Cuba, a neighbor nation.

You must be aware that the world community is in consensus that our
nation's Cuba policy must change. There is ample evidence of this global
consensus: The United Nations General Assembly has voted eight years in
a row to condemn the US blockade; just this month, 155 member nations
voted to condemn the blockade. In the US Congress, there are currently
160 House cosponsors for HR1644; the Senate also voted 70-28 in favor of
the Ashcroft amendment to end all food and medicine sanctions. Mayors,
city council members, and now, even governors from across the United
States have visited Cuba and condemned the US blockade, especially its
restrictions on food and medicines. Even the US State Department says
that food and medicine sanctions are politically and economically
counterproductive and hurt innocent people.

IFCO has known this and acted upon it, before almost anybody else. Your
agency should be applauding their moral leadership instead of harassing
them and their partners.

We call upon the US Treasury Department to: stop its harassment of IFCO,
drop the demand for bank records, and let IFCO be free to do its
life-saving, humanitarian work.

Sincerely, Steering Committee of the NYC Friendshipment Committee phone
contact: Elaine Babian, 718-471-8249 Leslie Salgado, Howard County
Friends of Latin America Paul Davidson, Cuba Solidarity Campaign (UK)
(organizations listed for identification purposes)

REMEMBER: It's important that letters arrive this week and next, by
MONDAY 11/22/99. Thanks for your support! Please excuse any duplicate
copies of the letter, we want it to get the widest possible
distribution) Please feel free to copy this to your own email lists, if
you wish.

New York City Area Friendshipment Committee

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