jhurd_newparty: From Sergio in Cuba

Louis Proyect lnp3 at SPAMpanix.com
Wed Dec 8 07:10:18 MST 1999

Dear Lou:

It has been a long time. I have been really busy, but this case
forced me to write this, to clarify what has been up till now a much
manipulated case. Please, forward this as widely as possible. It is
urgent to make people aware of what it is really happening here.




People do not seem to grasp the urgency of the case of Elian González,
the six year old boy who was kidnapped by a mother who wished to flee
the "communist island" of Cuba for the paradise of freedom in the
United States. The six years old boy who was subject to the experience
of seeing that same mother drown. The same six year old boy who had to
survive for no one knows exactly how many hours in the cold dangerous
waters of the Florida Straits alone and clinging to an inner tube. The
same six years old boy who is now kept by a distant relative under the
auspices of a group of legislators and some "freedom fighters".

As a 10 years old boy put it on Sunday at the Conference of the Cuban
Youth Technical Brigades, Elian is now the subject of a blackmail
campaign based on toys, Nintendos, chocolates and T-shirts because he
is a Cuban boy who is being politically manipulated. If Elian were a
black African boy, or a Haitian boy, or a Chinese boat boy, he would
have been thrown to the streets to beg or clean shoes. He might have
been sent back easily.

¿Why is it so urgent? The U.S. Government does not want to recognize
that this is a case of international kidnap. They have treated this
case as a regular case of family custody. They say this is merely a
legal case that has to be tried in court, and will sit on it till the
case is tried in a Florida court. You should be aware that in recent
years a lot has been exposed about the extent of corruption in the
politics of South Florida. Dirty tricks by Mayors, representatives in
local council, and all kind of murky complications have come to be
aired in what seems to any observer as regular tips of an iceberg of
corruption and trade-offs in power and money. Who could trust what the
results would be of a trial of this case in South Florida? Certainly,
not us in Cuba.

On the other hand, the gist of the matter is that this is in no way a
simple case of custody. In the laws of both, the U.S. and Cuba, for a
minor to travel there has to be the consent of both parents. When
custody is violated, the case is kidnap. If a parent illegally takes a
child abroad the whole thing becomes kidnap. If the kidnappers cross a
boundary, we are facing a Federal offense. Then, why the Department of
State quickly declined to intervene?

Because the Feds would have had to return the boy to Cuba immediately,
and this would have pitted them against the legislators that represent
the Cuban American lobby, and elections are coming, and no politician
would like to compromise votes...

So in the end, Elian in his now frightened and blackmailed innocence
is hostage to a game of influences in the local electoral politics of
South Florida. This is the bottom line here. Elian has been turned
into an election bandwagon.

I do not know what are the words to qualify this attitude. Elian's
family in Cuba: his father, and his grandparents, both have claimed
that he should be returned to them immediately. Under any law in Cuba,
the U.S., and certainly under international law, this has to be the

This has to be exposed, and the U.S. public, and international public
opinion, have to become aware of what the U.S. Government is NOT doing
here. The Pilatus Wash Our Hands attitude of the Government has to be
exposed. Every day Elian is being kept far from his family and
environment contributes to his alienation. Every person who turns his
or her back on him is becoming an accessory to this crime. Every
honest person has to understand this. Every tribune is good to make
people aware of what is really happening here.

Elian is important to every Cuban. This has only united us more,
recognizing the true traditional essence of relations between Cuba and
the U.S. Here the law applies only if the interests of the powerful
neighbor are served.

Do not hesitate to think if this is good for YOUR cause or not. Do not
play the same game the U.S. Government is playing. Please, do not
gamble with the life of a young boy. There is no place for a six years
old boy but with his family, and in his home.

Help Cuba, and Elian's family, get him back as soon as possible.

Sergio Jorge Pastrana
Academia de Ciencias de Cuba
pastrana at ceniai.inf.cu

Louis Proyect

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