Cubans fondly remember the legacy of U.S. Reverend Lucius Walker, founder of the solidarity movement, Pastors for Peace, and a dear friend of the Revolution.
Born in New Jersey on August 3, 1930, he graduated from Shaw University in Raleigh (North Carolina) in 1954. The pastor of the Salvation Baptist Church toured hundreds of cities defying the laws of his country to bring tons of products to the island, scarce during the nineties due to the tightening of the unjust U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade and the fall of the socialist camp.
His life was marked by the struggle for racial equality and civil rights led by the Reverend Martin Luther King. He built bridges between the peoples of the world, defending justice, social progress and the liberation struggles of developing countries against the hegemony of the United States.
Lucius Walker died on September 7, 2011. His ashes rest in Havana, fulfilling his last wish. He professed great affection for the leader of the Revolution, Fidel Castro, and an outpouring of love for the Cuban people.
Following the imprisonment of the Five Cuban anti-terrorists, he put all his efforts into securing the release of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Antonio Guerrero, Fernando González and René González, as he had done previously in the battle for the return of Elián González, kidnapped in 1999 by the anti-Cuban mafia in Miami, after the vessel in which he was traveling with his mother capsized in the Florida Straits.
Cubans remember Reverend Lucius Walker as a man of ideas, who put his humanist, scientific, philosophical and political thought at the service of humanity. A plaque recalling the selfless work of this great figure, committed to solidarity and peace, can be found at the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribune, located opposite the U.S. Embassy in Havana.
At a ceremony held here in late July during the 26th Pastors for Peace Friendship Caravan, Reverend Tom Smith, chairperson of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization / Pastors for Peace, noted that each year they return to express the love that Lucius instilled in them for the Cuban people.
He defined Walker as a community organizer and great speaker, who helped produce and create other organizers to disseminate the truth. “He gave each of us a piece of himself,” he stressed.
Lucius’ daughter, Gail Walter, noted during the recent visit: “We are an international movement and it is an honor to be back here representing the vast majority of the peoples of the world who oppose the genocidal policy of blockade and are an expression of love and solidarity.”
Walker1: Fidel Castro together with Lucius Walker, November 27, 1992. Photo: Liborio Noval
Walker2: Pastor for Peace transporting donations to Cuba on July 19, 2007. Photo: Otmaro Rodríguez Díaz