[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Cuba Nostalgia a Success

Monday, May 23, 2005

Cuba Nostalgia a Success

I am still winding down from the Cuba Nostalgia Convention this past weekend. It was an unquestionable success. The new venue, at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds, was a vast improvement over the old location. Large crowds got to see plenty of exhibits, listen to great music (and perhaps run into a famous musician or two), dancing, memorabilia, and, of course, the one and only Babalu Blog booth.

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation go out to Val and Maggie Prieto for allowing me to participate and be a part of their Cuba Nostalgia experience. They put a lot of time and effort into the booth, and their hard work and dedication paid off. Gracias Mr. and Mrs. Prieto! You two deserve a long break after this weekend!

It was great to work with the others who helped out including Julio, George, Amanda, and Steve (although his schedule and mine didn't coincide). I felt a wonderful camaraderie with them. I also had the pleasure of meeting long-time Babalu reader Kathleen, who I found out also reads 26th Parallel!

One of the things I'll remember most about this past weekend was the interaction with the people who walked up to the booth. People of all ages, dark-skinned, light-skinned, English-speaking, Spanish-speaking, bilingual. The diversity of the Cuban culture is something that is often overlooked and ignored, but it was in full display at the convention. The conversations I had with several people were enlightening.

The e-mails to fidel were a highlight as well. It was astonishing to see people young and old sit down in front of the computer and type out the e-mails. Hundreds of e-mails, many with profanity, went out to the bearded dictator.

As I scanned the convention floor and watched all the people stream by, I often thought about a saying my mother-in-law likes to use once in a while - "cada persona es un mundo" - Everyone is his/her own world. I thought about all the stories of heartbreak and dreams unfulfilled that each of those people have inside their hearts as they left their homeland in search of freedom.

That is why we were there this weekend, to let people know we are with them in the fight to free Cuba of its long and brutal dictatorship. And after all the events of this past weekend, from the Assembly to the convention to working with all those fine folks, I think we're on the right track.


Anonymous George L. Moneo said...

It was great working with you this weekend, Robert. We'll be working there next year too!

9:31 PM, May 23, 2005  
Anonymous Kathleen said...

Robert,you've said it very well. I too was there to let people know we are with them in the fight to free Cuba. It was fun meeting you. Now that I've been outed as one of your readers, I decided to post. It was great meeting you Saturday.

1:29 AM, May 24, 2005  
Blogger Songuacassal said...

Wish I was there man... maybe next year I'll be in town!

3:07 AM, May 24, 2005  

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