American Youth To Study Medicine in Cuba

Executive Director of Pastors for Peace, Rev. Lucius Walker, sent a letter this week to all American students enrolled in medical studies in Cuba informing them that the US government will allow the continuation of these scholarships, in spite of recent travel restrictions.

'As far as we know,' he said, 'this is the only exception that has been made so far to the Bush administration’s draconian new restrictions on travel to Cuba.'

'The arrangement is that 28 members of the US Congress are writing a joint letter to the State and Treasury Departments on behalf of all the medical students —current students as well as future enrolees. The State and Treasury Departments, for their part, have announced that they will grant travel authorization so that all the enrolled students will be able to legally continue their studies, and to legally travel to and from school,' according to Lucius Walker.

He also informed that all students should expect to receive written confirmation of this arrangement within the next two weeks, adding that new students will be traveling on August 25, as previously announced.

Walker described the arrangement as an 'important victory' and thanked a number of people and organizations that made it come about.

In the letter to the young Americans of the Latin American Medical School scholarship program, he thanked –first of all- the students themselves, their parents, friends and supporters; members of the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses; and 'the specific intervention of Secretary of State Colin Powell.'

'We owe a special debt of gratitude to Reps. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Charles Rangel (D-NY), and to their staff members, who have worked tirelessly to help us achieve this historic victory,' Walker added.

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