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Solidarity for Cuba event held Saturday, many Brazos Valley Cuban-Americans showed support

Posted at 8:30 AM, Jul 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-25 09:30:17-04

COLLEGE STATION, TEXAS — From historic protests to lack of resources and even reports of internet outages, there is a lot going on in Cuba right now.

Showing support in a way they know how, people from near and far gathered outside of City Hall in College Station Saturday, all to show their solidarity for the people of Cuba.

One of the event's leaders was Elsa Murano, Murano not only Texas A and M's first female president, but first Hispanic one too.

For her, it's personal.

"My mother always said.. take every opportunity and make the best of it," Elsa Murano, the former A and M President said.

And don't waste it.

"Because these are opportunities our people in Cuba don't have," she added.

As she grew up, her mother told her about family left behind and the ways of Cuba.

"They declared that children were the property of the state... not their parents and people said 'that's it'. So my parents took me and my brother on July 4th 1961. We left and we have not been back," Muran said.

Murano was just one of many Cuban-Americans who came together Saturday sharing their support for the people who are still there.

"We have been here since 1995... to share with my family and my community of Bryan College Station how important this is to us. Now is the time. It's been 62 years since the regime began," Murano added.

"My brother and I came 5 years before we could reunite with our parents. We moved to Bryan College Station and met the Olivers and the Cabreras," Patty Fleitas, another showing support of Cuba said.

"All of our parents are deceased now, but we are their legacy and being Cuban and caring for the United States as well as our native country brings us together," Fleitas added

She says having the freedom to do what she did Saturday, means more than words could describe.

"Our country is unaware of what is happening... 90 miles South of our border... Key West," Fleitas said.

"They are protesting in the streets. They are protesting there is not enough food... No gas.. Electricity is cut," Murano added.

"The situation has gone from bad to worse to really really bad. The people finally cannot take it anymore," Jose Fernandez-Solis, another organizer of the event said.

For Murano, she's held several positions over the years with Texas A and M, including being the first female president, first Hispanic president and first president under the age of 50.

"Only in America.. only in America.. It's an amazing thing to realize the opportunities. The opportunity have been given. Because of my mother's perseverance... she said take advantage of them and I've done the best I could," Murano said.

Murano says the Cuban-American population in BCS isn't that big, compared to other places throughout the US, but they came out in numbers Saturday.

"It's time to wave our flags of our beautiful countries, the United States that adopted us and of course, Cuba that is our homeland," Murano shared.

"The United States of America, greatest country in the world, has opened their arms to Cubans to come here since the 60s and forge new lives for ourselves and we love the freedoms that we. We cherish them. We are so grateful. That's why you see not only Cuban flags displayed today, but American flags, because we are Americans. We are Cubans, but we are Americans and very proud of it," she added.