Coño, y siguen las lagrimas.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who attended the Cuba Nostalgia Convention that’s still in somewhat of a basket case mode. Despite this being our third year at the event, I still feel overwhelmed days after the convention’s finale. It happens every year and since Im a big cry baby, always wearing my heart on my sleeve, I find myself almost unable to control my emotions. Right now, I’m on an emotional roller coaster ride.
Before it gets any later in the post-convention week, I want to thank all of you who donated to make this year’s Babalu participation possible. Without your support – not just economic but by your readership – none of it would have happened. Without you there is no Babalu and I do not have the words to express how truly grateful I am.
There were many times that I stood in front of the Babalu booth this weekend and felt more than overwhelmed and more than proud. There in front of me was something that had anyone told me five years ago Id be seeing, I would have scoffed and laughed it off. But there it was nonetheless. A comingling of people of all walks of life, of all ages, of varying backgrounds and from all over the country together for a common purpose. It was inspiring and heartwarming.
Ive got lots of Convention blogging that I will be posting in the next week or so, but right now I just want to state something that I mentioned more than a few times during this past weekend’s event: Our blogging may or may not make a difference vis-a-vis the freedom of Cuba – I like to think that at the least we have managed to chip some ice of the iceberg – but one thing is as certain as the sun rising in the morning: I have met some incredible people, who have given of themselves selflessly and whom I truly love. To me, you are much much more than bloggers or readers or friends, you are family, and I am truly blessed by your love and support.
Gracias, from the very bottom of my heart.

10 thoughts on “Coño, y siguen las lagrimas.”

  1. Hi
    Nice words thanks, I was not able to go this year to Cuba Nostalgia, but went several times before.
    Do you remember Ana Menedez article last year about Cuba Nostalgia and her opinion? Many messages can be foung in Babalu files in reference.
    Well, she won a prize for that, I believe she got $2,500.00 See below…
    : February 25, 2007
    Last Updated: February 26, 2007
    Printer-friendly version
    RESTON, Va. — The American Society of Newspaper Editors has selected the winners of its annual awards for distinguished writing and photography.
    Winners of the 2007 ASNE Awards are:
    ….Commentary/Column Writing: Ana Menendez, The Miami Herald. For columns about the Miami community, including how a local festival to celebrate Cuban history had grown into a marketing ploy. ….
    The Jesse Laventhol prizes each carry a $10,000 cash award; all of the others will receive $2,500 prizes. The awards will be presented on Thursday, March 29, during ASNE’s convention in Washington, D.C. The winning entries and interviews with the winners and finalists will be published in “Best Newspaper Writing 2007,� by The Poynter Institute, St. Petersburg, Fla.
    Photos of the winners are available at For more information contact Suzanne Martin,, 703-453-1132.
    Page Location: Home » About ASNE » Photos of Interest
    Ana Menendez
    Published: February 25, 2007
    Last Updated: February 25, 2007
    Printer-friendly version
    Ana Menendez, The Miami Herald
    2007 Distinguished Writing Award for Commentary/Column Writing
    (click for large image)
    © Copyright 2007 The American Society of Newspaper Editors
    11690B Sunrise Valley Drive | Reston, VA 20191-1409 | Phone 703-453-1122
    May 24, 2006
    Ana Menendez on Cuba Nostalgia
    I opened the Miami Herald this morning, started to eat my cereal, then promptly almost had to spit in back in the bowl when I read Ana Menendez’s column trashing Cuba Nostalgia.
    What didn’t she like about it?
    Check it out below, with a few comments afterwards.
    Nostalgia is now for sale, and it’s costly
    By Ana Menendez

  2. Having attended the past three Nostalgia conventions, this year for me, for all the reasons you’ve stated and more, was very special. I’m stuck on dial-up here at my in-laws, and now I’m crying again. Thank you Babalu, and when I say Babalu I mean all of you, my fellow bloggers, commenters, and readers, you are indeed family.

  3. I do not believe that Cubans of all ages were at the event. According to our Center for Cubanologo Studies at FIU, the polls that Uva Aragan and I have done indicate that only aged Cubans attend such events. Our polls are so accurate that they have been published in the Miami Herald! Young Cuban Americans, like my son, are too busy assimilating and traveling to Cuba to partake in such convention distractions. Regarding Ana Menendez, that is really mean for some extremists on this blog to repeatedly compare her to Mr. Ed and publish unflattering photos of her. She has every right not to go to the convention any more to avoid seeing Val Prieto and Henry Gomez.

  4. Oh man, I wish I could have been at the event on Saturday – I heard it was packed.
    Friday was great though, nice seeing you all.

  5. Coño, ya Lisandro volvió a formar un peo. Hey dude, why don’t you take your flatulence to another blog, like Oscar Corral’s Herald blog, where you odor is more appropriate.

  6. Lisandro_Peo:
    Your condescension and disdain toward “aged Cubans” is one of the more disgusting displays of direspect and self-loathing I’ve ever read on this blog. For one that was, very obviously, born into this land of abundance and freedom to speak so cavalierly about the suffering and sacrifices of those who risked everything to come here speaks volumes about your mettle as a human being — let alone a Cuban American. Unlike you, I actually attended Cuba Nostalgia (all 3 days) and what I witnessed was one of the most exuberant, vibrant celebrations of life and culture that I have ever seen in my lifetime. Furthermore, I don’t need data from the “Center for Cubanologo Studies” to tell me what my own eyes saw — the community was represented, en masse, from infant to elderly. True, it wasn’t quite the imagined vision of utopia that your leftist professors at FIU have indoctrinated you with, but the spirit of cooperation and community was as palpable as the scent of lechon asado y cafe con leche. The idea that you would cite a biased and incredulous source such as “El Nuevo Herald” to bolster your statistical data is even more laughable. Have you seen the data showing the decline in readership lately?
    As for your son, he’d fit right in with the rest of the “Aged Cubans” who have also “assimilated” into the American dream, i.e. work hard, acheive self reliance and ultimately, realize tremendous success & enjoy the fruits of one’s labors.
    And, as for Ana Mendez, well…a horse is a horse, of course of course…

  7. I am somewhat confused as to the comment that only aged cubans go to these events. Speaking as someone who was there – I saw a wide spectrum of ages, classes, etc. Not quite sure why the disparaging remarks? Ahh well – a spoiler’s a spoiler.

  8. Lisandro_Peo,
    Your polls can say what they will, but they are completely inaccurate. I, age 30, was at Cuba Nostalgia, along with my husband, age 32, and two children, ages 4 years and 3 months. My friend Amy was there, age 22, along with her mom, and they flew in from California specifically for the event. I ran into several other friends there as well, all in my age range.
    Get a better source for your data, please, someone who was actually THERE. And as for the publishing of your data, it being published in the Herald, English or Spanish version, is as if it were published on toilet paper.
    As for the intent of this post: Thank you Tio. You know how important this thing that you do is, and what it means to me, and all the other Babalu readers. =’)

  9. Guess I wasn’t polled, because I was there with my mother, husband and daughter. Moved by the experience as much as I was, it was of more value for my daughter. I could turn to her and say, “See, these are your people.” For those of us who have grown up in “American” parts of the country, the experience of Cuba Nostalgia was fun and priceless.
    As to the Cuban-themed merchandise, my only complaint was that I couldn’t get at it.

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