Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« UK Conservatives and 'People Power' | Main | Keith Martin and marijuana legalization »

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Son of the Regime

Back in 2000 many, including myself, strongly objected to the returning of Elian Gonzalez to his father in Cuba. Gonzalez arrived in the United States after he accompanied his mother on an inner tube, his mother dying in their attempt to escape Fidel Castro's gulag republic. Those who urged for Elian's return to Cuba argued that the boy should be reunited with his father, that his father had a right to custody of his child. It was the logic followed by the Clinton administration in forcefully removing Elian from his Miami relatives, and returning him to Cuba. Those who protested countered that no one had rights in Communist Cuba, that returning young Elian was a form of child abuse, and a horrible betrayal of American ideals. 

As predicted the boy of 6, who was taken from Little Havana a decade ago, is a now a youth of sixteenth, and has spent the great majority of his life as a tool of Castroite propaganda. One of my most vivid memories of that period was the sneering contempt of the MSM toward those who opposed Elian's return. The most common refrain was that family comes before politics, and that to deny the boy a chance to live with his father was cruel and unjust. In the years since I've wondered how much that cliche of family before politics was informed by naivety, and how much by the cynical contempt and anti-Americanism so often expressed by the American Left. In Cuba, as in all totalitarian states, the family cannot be placed before politics. In such regimes politics is everything, one's status in society, one's prospects, even one's very existence is dependent upon politics. Saying that something is merely a political difference is a luxury enjoyed solely by the residents of free countries. The political is just an opinion in Canada or the United States, in Cuba it is life. The worst tragedy is that Elian, kept in ignorance of the true nature of his brief escape from the worker's paradise, is probably a supporter of the regime that enslaves him and the other ten million people of Cuba. A decade ago Elian Gonzalez was returned to his father, not his biological one but the true master of his life so long as the regime stands, Fidel Castro.

Posted by Richard Anderson on April 14, 2010 | Permalink

Comments

The United States is under no obligation--legal, moral, or ethical--to provide a home for anyone who washes up on its beaches. The boy was in the country illegally, and had his mother survived, she would have been also. Clinton did the right thing in sending him back.

And if Elian is, in fact, now a supporter of the government in Cuba, that is his affair, and none of yours.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-14 11:15:40 AM


here's hoping the lad
was not sent back the way he came:
by inner tube.

Posted by: 419 | 2010-04-14 4:00:07 PM


I cannot in any way be construed as an anti-American. Nor was I under any illusion about the propaganda prop that Elian would become under Castro. I despise Castro, their system of oppression and the lefties here in Canada and the States that protect him...BUT...NOT EVERYTHING should be viewed through political glasses.

I'm with Shane.

I agreed with sending him back to be raised by his father (so long as he wasn't abusive).

Posted by: h2o273kk9 | 2010-04-14 4:48:16 PM


Speaking as a father, who fought tooth and nail, for years, to have custody of my sons, I think you're full of crap. Look at a few regimes that put politics ahead of family, before you continue this train of thought.

Posted by: dp | 2010-04-14 5:10:10 PM


If I had to choose between living in the United States with my relatives or in Cuba with my Dad I'd pick the United States.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-04-14 8:16:56 PM


The child was a pawn in a political pissing contest. Pawns are disposable. No one asked Elian what he wanted and Shane is right in the sense that he was just another illegal immigrant with a father longing for his return. Clinton , with a eye on trying to warm the relationship with Cuba did the right thing. A fathers rights outweigh relatives rights.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-04-14 11:04:04 PM


So let me get this straight, if you all were in Elian's shoes you would want to be deported to Cuba? Sorry, but I'm just not buying that.

And how the heck do we know his father really wanted him back in the first place? Oh yeah that's right, the Cuban government never lies about anything.

Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-04-14 11:11:27 PM


Posted by: Farmer Joe | 2010-04-14 11:11:27 PM

A 6 year old does not know what he wants. Other than a fallout with his wife we know nothing about his father and who are we to decide ? Oh yeah...the US government never lies about anything. Recent pictures of the kid show him in pretty good shape.

Posted by: peterj | 2010-04-15 12:28:21 AM


Apparently, dp, many Americans would like their own regime to be one of those who puts politics ahead of family.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-15 6:27:00 AM


If I had to choose between living in the United States with my relatives or in Cuba with my Dad I'd pick the United States.

There are few who wouldn't, FJ. However, that choice was not Elian's to make, but America's, which is the point. In this case, what Elian wanted did not matter.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-15 6:28:53 AM


I love it when people say things like "it's America's choice", or "the U.S. has rights", or "the U.S. does not need to provide a home".

America can't choose and doesn't have any rights. Only individuals can choose, have rights, and provide a home.

I must confess, however, that this is a difficult decision. I guess I'd go with parental rights over relatives' rights. Kindof absolute but I'm not sure how you draw that line if you go the other way.

Posted by: Charles | 2010-04-15 6:51:26 AM


Charles, no one has any rights in Cuba. Not relatives, not fathers. This wasn't a dispute between different members of a family, but whether to return a child to a tyranny, an inherently abusive society where he will remain a pawn of that regime.

My parents escaped from a dictatorship, albeit one far less evil than Castro's Cuba, they were both horrified at Elian's return. They knew he wasn't returning to simply a poorer country to be with his father, but to a perverse society where children are routinely turned against their parents. So prominent a figure as Elian is kept under tight control by the regime. As I noted above, his real father now is Fidel Castro, they are the ones who will rule his life and will long after he becomes an adult.

Posted by: Publius | 2010-04-15 7:11:44 AM


I recall that during this controversy, the Clinton administration told Americans that Castro's government had assured them that Elian would never be used as a propaganda tool for the regime. That appears not to be the case. He's now a real "poster boy" for the Castro brothers.

Posted by: Dennis | 2010-04-15 7:35:05 AM


America can't choose and doesn't have any rights. Only individuals can choose, have rights, and provide a home.

Says who? Certainly not the law. You're talking like a drippy hippie again, Charles.

I must confess, however, that this is a difficult decision. I guess I'd go with parental rights over relatives' rights. Kindof absolute but I'm not sure how you draw that line if you go the other way.

Fortunately, Charles, the law provides an easy yardstick in the concept of "next of kin." His nearest blood relative takes precedence, unless ruled incompetent by a court. There was also the matter that he was an illegal and never entitled to be in America to start with, but was a bona fide citizen of Cuba.

You're out of your depth here, Charles. This is not a matter of money.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-15 8:39:31 AM


Charles, no one has any rights in Cuba. Not relatives, not fathers. This wasn't a dispute between different members of a family, but whether to return a child to a tyranny, an inherently abusive society where he will remain a pawn of that regime.

Granted, life in Cuba sucks a lot. And it's the Cubans' fault that life in their country sucks a lot. If the situation is really that intolerable, why don't they throw out the communists? The Poles did.

My parents escaped from a dictatorship, albeit one far less evil than Castro's Cuba, they were both horrified at Elian's return. They knew he wasn't returning to simply a poorer country to be with his father, but to a perverse society where children are routinely turned against their parents.

Cuba is not a perverse society. It has a perverse government. There is a large difference. If Cuban society were perverted, that would mean Cubans who grew up there would remain perverted even after coming here. That's not the case.

So prominent a figure as Elian is kept under tight control by the regime. As I noted above, his real father now is Fidel Castro, they are the ones who will rule his life and will long after he becomes an adult.

None of which is any of America's business. The rest of the world will only be as good as America when its citizens make it so. And they won't make it so by riding inner tubes into the arms of Lady Liberty.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-15 8:45:22 AM


There are no parental rights in Cuba, and a child of 7 can "divorce" his parents under Cuban law. Elian's father had given his consent for the child to leave the island with his mother from whom he was divorced. It was only after Fidel Castro, (who in November of 1999 was worried because he'd been out of the news for a few months) decided to create the "battle", and either pressured him and or promised him a comfy job and other priviledges, that Juan Miguel started asking for his son to be returned.

Does anyone remember the grandmothers and how they were not allowed all in the US at the same time? That's because they kept Juan Miguel and their spouses, the grandfathers, as hostages in Cuba. Which comes to show that not even the regime belive its own story of the family wanting to reunite in Cuba.

And Juan Miguel's hasty marriage to Security of State agent (fake children included)?

And let's talk about how the Clinton government manipulated the US justice system pressuring local courts to rescind jusrisdiction, although the case shouldn't have gone farther than Miami-Dade County Family Court.

And Shane, you show a lot of ignorance on this topic. Please do your homework.

Posted by: ElcubanitoKC | 2010-04-15 11:06:01 AM


Well, EKC, you pretty much tipped your hand when you went for the gratuitous "ignorant" comment. It's a favourite ploy of righteous types seeking to build some quick credibility without having to actually do anything.

Tellingly, you make no attempt to explain precisely what I was wrong about, nor do you make any attempt to set it at rights. Like all your other statements, you just put it out there, without any proof or sources, apparently considering it enough that you say it.

There are no parental rights in Cuba, and a child of 7 can "divorce" his parents under Cuban law. Elian's father had given his consent for the child to leave the island with his mother from whom he was divorced.

If there are no parental rights in Cuba, why are there proceedings available for a child to "divorce" his parents, and why was it necessary for the father to give consent for the mother to take the child, if he had no rights to relinquish?

It was only after Fidel Castro, (who in November of 1999 was worried because he'd been out of the news for a few months) decided to create the "battle", and either pressured him and or promised him a comfy job and other priviledges, that Juan Miguel started asking for his son to be returned.

Either/or? Which is it? Can you prove any of this? And the word is privileges not priviledges, he-who-feels-competent-to-call-me-ignorant. Perhaps you should have done your homework. In the third grade.

Does anyone remember the grandmothers and how they were not allowed all in the US at the same time? That's because they kept Juan Miguel and their spouses, the grandfathers, as hostages in Cuba. Which comes to show that not even the regime belive its own story of the family wanting to reunite in Cuba.

They LIVE in Cuba, you moron. They weren't hostages; they were citizens. And many countries with restrictive emigration/travel policies refuse to allow too many members of the same family abroad at the same time for fear of defection, especially countries in the former Soviet bloc. And the word is believe, Professor.

And Juan Miguel's hasty marriage to Security of State agent (fake children included)?

Again, proof? I'm not saying I disbelief this (as it is one your easier claims to verify), but the fact that you don't offer any evidence in support of this is suspicious.

And let's talk about how the Clinton government manipulated the US justice system pressuring local courts to rescind jusrisdiction, although the case shouldn't have gone farther than Miami-Dade County Family Court.

Yes, let's. Starting with any corroborating evidence whatsoever. "Jusrisdiction"? I can't stand it. It's too easy. Hanging you out to dry is like shooting fish in a barrel. With the Death Star.

High school debating class is over, EKC. Now let's see you back up that loud conversation.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2010-04-15 8:19:16 PM



The comments to this entry are closed.