In March 2018 the GÉANT and RedCLARA communities reached a significant milestone for the future sustainability of connectivity between the European and Latin American R&E networks with the completion of the transatlantic BELLA procurement. Preparations for contract signature are now underway, and at the end, GÉANT/Europe and RedCLARA/Latin-America will have access to a 25-year IRU contract for intercontinental connectivity on a submarine cable directly connecting both regions, and this will connect to the future-proofed 100Gbps-capable RedCLARA backbone, also being built under BELLA. Recent discoveries of astronomical events, and the collaborations behind them, between the two continents, are set to expand significantly in the coming years, and together with research in high energy physics and molecular biology, instrumentation, support for development goals and even cultural collaborations, the sustainable and future-proofed connectivity provided by BELLA will become critical. The submarine cable on which BELLA connectivity will be provided will be built between now and 2020. BELLA is enabled by a unique collaboration across multiple Directorate Generals at the European Commission (DG-CONNECT and DG-GROWTH and DG-DEVCO), both in terms of providing funding and in working together to achieve a common objective. We will showcase examples of research which will benefit from BELLA, and will give a snapshot of the key elements in building the cable before the bits start to flow, and show why BELLA is special in terms of the involvement of the European Commission. The presentation will conclude by emphasizing that BELLA is not the be-all-and-end-all for the future GÉANT-RedCLARA, but the backbone for ongoing collaboration to provide all the services and end-user support that academics across the two regions need.