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Somos+, Niurvys Roca, 11 September 2015 — I was traveling from New Jersey to Florida with butterflies fluttering in my stomach. It felt like a first date. At the time I was thinking about how great it was going to be to meet Cubans who shared my passion and commitment to bring about real change in our country. I was rehearsing what we might say, what tone we might use so that it what would not sound like a monotone speech to those who have been disconnected from our political culture and to those hoping for a new vision they can believe in. Ultimately, it was simply about the opportunity to speak from the heart without concern for generational differences.
The big day arrived. Though we had had little sleep and were were facing threats of a hurricane, we decided to go ahead with our event. August 29, 2015 was the first meeting of our Somos+ Club. We drank toasts to the possibility of meeting regularly and sharing activities with other clubs that will be starting up soon, working in collaboration under our umbrella organization.*
I have had the opportunity to take part in something that will go down in the annals of our country’s history, a history that has begun and is happening now. To listen, debate and share opinions in one of a series of extended discussions… this is really a dream come true.
Bravo, Somos+ for all the work and interest you put into every topic. I am proud to know we are growing every day, not only in numbers but in human quailty and surprising talent. A special thanks to everyone in the working group that had faith this could be done and risked everything in spite of our inexperience. Now no one shall surrender!
*Translator’s note: Somos+ is a Cuban political organization founded in 2015 by Eliecer Avila, who gained notoriety in 2007 when he publicly challenged National Assembly President Ricardo Alarcon during a meeting with Cuban university students.