The Latin American Council of Churches was forced to postpone its Feb. 19-24 assembly in Havana due to the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba. When the council's Quito, Ecuador, headquarters attempted to transfer $101,000 for food and lodging for the assembly's 400 delegates and other participants to Cuba, the U.S. branch of the Ecuadorian bank Pichincha in Miami froze the deposit. Olav Fykse Tveit, a Lutheran pastor who heads the World Council of Churches, called the postponement "greatly disappointing." The U.S. "has repeatedly expressed the commitment to uphold religious freedom," he added, and "could easily have helped to avoid this embarrassing situation but has failed."
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