Sunday, April 1, 2012

Letter to Cuban Youth, Part 2

Roots of Hope recently has the opportunity to write a letter to thousands of youth gathered at a vigil in Santiago de Cuba. To read our message, see here. If you could write an open letter to our brothers and sisters on the island, what would YOU say? Here's what Kenny would tell his counterparts, but we want to hear from you too. Send us your open letter to Cuban youth at

An ancient Chinese proverb says that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” While many representatives of the Cuban community abroad only had to journey 90 miles to be with you today, we come with humble hearts to ask that you join us for a new journey of a thousand miles. Today, we invite you to take the first step, just one step.

A thousand miles seems endless and the first step frightening. We Cubans are fortunate to have brave examples to follow who illuminated the long and winding path before us. Jose Marti told us it was a sin not to do what we are capable of and the Cuban people have proudly responded to his call to duty, service and honor. Our Cuban people, both here and abroad, have risen to exceed Marti’s wildest dreams.

Cubans have traveled millions of miles the world over as doctors, musicians, statesmen, gold medal Olympians, poets, bloggers, neighbors, friends and humanitarians. Our nation, the Cuban nation, has brought smiles to the world through our service, joy through our humor and creativity through our genius. A thousand miles does not seem so far anymore, but who are we, citizens of Cuba and Cuban citizens of the world, to contribute the first step to our own journey together?

We are the compassionate ones who seek the truth in understanding

We are the dignified ones who uphold the truth in the face of evil

We are the passionate ones who yearn for love, hope and friendship

We are the hopeful ones who inspire and bring out the best in our communities

We are the humble ones who listen first and speak second

We are the ones, who beginning today, will work together to uphold and promote these values so that we can march on our thousand mile journey until the global Cuban community is recognized for its compassion, dignity, smart passion, hope and humility.

The Cuban community abroad is eager to open itself up to you and sincerely hopes that that the Cuban community on the island is willing to open itself up to us. A thousand miles is very far, but maybe one big step together, at the beginning, will help us complete the journey sooner.

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