Cuba Loses a Friend, Lucius Walker Dies
By Circles Robinson
HAVANA TIMES, Sept. 8 — Rev. Lucius Walker Jr., head of the Pastors for Peace group and a close friend of the Cuban revolution, died on Tuesday after suffering a massive heart attack at the age of 80.
The organization has sent caravans of humanitarian aid to Cuba each year since 1992, challenging the US economic blockade on the island.
Walker, a strong advocate of normalized US-Cuba relations, met numerous times with Cuba’s top leaders including Fidel Castro.
He visited Cuba with the Caravan virtually every summer and besides opposing the blockade also lobbied for an end to the US travel ban on its citizens visiting the island.
Rev. Walker was also responsible for negotiations that led to over a hundered underpriveliged young people from the United States studying medicine on a full scholarship at the Havana-based Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM).
“It is with immeasurable sadness that we inform all of IFCO’s friends and family of the passing of our beloved, heroic, prophetic leader Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. (Aug. 3, 1930 – Sept. 7, 2010). We will post more information as soon as arrangements are made. Please keep his family and his IFCO* family in your prayers,” states the organization on its website.
(*) IFCO is the Interreligous Foundation for Community Organization.
6 thoughts on “Cuba Loses a Friend, Lucius Walker Dies”
An American hero.
For standing up for what is right, for not hating on our cubanito/a brothers and sisters and helping them
and for challenging an unjust law, as we know our history is riddled with many unjust laws since the
beginning. Gracias por tu contribucion ASERE.
La próxima vez que yo bebe un ron, ofreceré un poquitico primero a su memoria como dice la tradición. Descansa en pas Asere
Dani / San Fran
I have worked as Rev. Walker’s musical director for 1 year and 3 months now and lord know that man challenged me. He challenged me to be a leader, to be passionate about my service for the lord and he challenged me to get things done. I looked up to him. In fact, there were 2 people i was always afraid of disappointing on sunday mornings 1) the lord 2) rev. But regardless of how things went, he always had a bright smile on his face and gave me a hug during the passing of the peace. You will be missed Rev. I will play for you every single sunday. RIP to a brave father, leader and humanitarian.
In these very sad moments, it is inevitable to go back to my first encounter with Rev. Lucius Walker in Havana. As so many others, I mis-read the enormous abilities of this extremely modest, un-asuming, generous person. In his typical quiet voice, devoid of academic, grandilocuence, he spoke of Pastors For Peace and their commitment to the poor, the underdog, the sick and justice everywhere.
Although P4P played an important role in Nicaragua, Haiti, Mexico and wherever human needs demanded their presence, it was clear, that Cuba was the center piece of his love. I have no way of expressing my eternal gratitude for him allowing me to become part of this noble project since 1995.
What made this effort most rewarding, was that Florida with its sui generis anti-Cuba gang, led some to believe P4P would shy away from the risks, threats, danger. Today, Florida is a bastion of solidarity with the people of Cuba. A must stop since and in the future. Through films, conferences, symposium, caravans, enlisting students to Med. School, or cultural exchange, P4P educated thousands in Cuba’s reality.
Cuba, without any doubt, have lost of its best son, an Afro-American Maceo or Quintin!
For me and our organization, we have lost a friend, a mentor, a daily example, a special teacher, who never refuted or rejected any plan or suggestion, no matter how off track it could be. In his unique non-confrontational leadership style, he would ask if we had considered a, b or c.
I will no longer enjoy his near mid night calls on his way home, ready to engage me in a variety of world and human topics. Thanks Lou for not giving up on me and others. We love you.
Yet, the enormity of this loss should not become an expression of sadness or tears. Rather, we must pick up the pieces and honor this man of God, this citizen of the world, Cuba’s most honest, devoted and faithful son, by continuing his work and erecting a monument in his name, wherever we go.
Good By Lou and hope to see you somewhere, sometime!
After the 94-day “Fast for Life” by Lucius and other activists forced the U.S. government to reverse its stand in restricting humanitarian aid to our Cubans sisters and brothers, I wrote a poem for them. I can’t find a copy of it, but in memory of our beloved compañero, I will try to reconstruct it:
When the unstoppable force of our love
Meets the irresistible wall of their tyranny,
Something’s gotta give.
It was more than computers breaking through customs:
Through your courage,
Have broken yet another hole
Through the wall that has blockaded our human family.
Thank you for this obituary of Rev. Walker, a truly wonderful man who cared for all the peoples of the
world. Going on any delegation with Lucius you could expect strategic action. I and my late partner, Hal Carlstad, who traveled with many of the caravans to cuba always held Lucius in the highest regard, a true prophetic voice for our time, who will be deeply missed. Yet he was fearless in the cause of justice, touched I daresay millions, and leaves a huge legacy for us. On the Pastors delegation to Haiti we demonstrated in front of the U.S. Embassy after meeting the Ambassador, a clear proponent of empire and domination. Yet Rev. Walker calm and clear whatever the situation-a man of integrity, a prophetic voice for the generations to come.
This man was loved and held in high regard by all men who respected our countries right to be free and sovereign..He was a GIANT anong men a man who brought me home many times when i was unable to do it myself..i worked with him for yrs and loved him like a father..i will not travel to NYC for his going away..i choose to remember him here. VIVA LUCIOUS ADELANTE..FORWARD TO MEET THE ANCESTORS
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