Travel With Codepink.
CODEPINK is organizing, co-sponsoring and traveling to Bolivia, Iran, Cuba, Colombia, and Honduras this spring-summer. Join us as we engage in peace diplomacy from below to learn firsthand how U.S. foreign policy harms the most vulnerable. If you’ve ever wanted to talk to people abroad who are directly affected by U.S. foreign policy, this is your chance!
It’s hard to truly understand a country and its people without visiting. While being a tourist is great and enriching, taking it to the next level and joining a citizen diplomacy peace delegation is rewarding and helps impact policy here at home. Upon returning home, peace delegates can meet with their representatives in Congress to speak about what they saw. They can write articles about their experiences and talk to folks in their own communities so that those who couldn’t join can have a source of information that isn’t the mainstream media.
We know that traveling abroad is beyond the reach of many of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t be active in the struggle to transform our militaristic foreign policy. If you can’t join one of our delegations but want to help, consider the following two options:
- First, you can donate to defray the cost of travel to help students, low-income individuals, people of color, etc. get a scholarship to join the delegation. (If you choose to donate this way, please email our national co-director Ariel Gold at firstname.lastname@example.org to let her know which delegation your donation should be applied towards.)
- Second, you can join us on the path to peace by signing a letter endorsing Ilhan Omar’s legislation that will seek to center our foreign policy on peace, dialogue, human rights, and social justice.
What do all the countries CODEPINK is traveling to this spring-summer have in common? They’re all victims of U.S. foreign policy in different ways:
- Iran: With the Trump administration’s scrapping of the nuclear deal and the subsequent assassination of a top Iranian leader, our countries our closer than ever to a direct war. Trump has been imposing harsher sanctions to make Iranians suffer, irrationally hoping that they will engage in regime change. CODEPINKers from around the country have been working hard to stop this war and end the sanctions that are harming ordinary Iranians.
- Cuba: The U.S. has embargoed Cuba since 1960, severely affecting the economic development of their economy. Against all odds, Cuba has managed to provide for its people and become a global leader in medicine in the face of these sanctions. Now the Trump administration is hardening the sanctions, including demonizing a Cuban program that sends doctors to the world’s poorest neighborhoods.
- Bolivia: As CODEPINK has denounced, the U.S. was behind the November 2019 coup that ousted indigenous president Evo Morales and empowered a coup government that has massacred indigenous people. With elections coming up in May, USAID has gone to Bolivia to “help with the electoral system”, sparking fears that the vote will be rigged for a U.S. friendly candidate.
- Honduras: The U.S. backed a 2009 coup and a fraudulent election in 2017 that reelected a U.S. ally implicated in a narco-trafficking case and supportive of criminal enterprises that have murdered activists, including renowned environmental and indigenous activist Berta Caceres in 2016.
- Colombia: Decades of civil strife have been exacerbated by $10 billion in aid to a military with a long history of human rights violations, which in turn has empowered an extreme right-wing known to employ paramilitary forces to kill social leaders, over 500 of whom have been killed since the 2016 peace agreement, including 19 in the first two weeks of January 2019.
U.S. foreign policy seems impossible to change and the war machine it sustains is massive. But little by little, we can chip away at these things. One way to do so is to engage in citizen diplomacy peace delegations. These trips reassure people in other countries that there are Americans struggling to end war and policies that inflict suffering. They will also be incredibly inspiring and will motivate you to take action at the local level to help put our nation on the path to peace.
Towards building peace from the bottom up,
Ariel, Teri, Ann, Asia, Ayanni, Camille, Carley, Caty, Cody, Emily, Jodie, Kelsey, Leila, Leonardo, Makena, Megan, Medea, Michelle, Nancy, Paki, and Tighe
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