Fidel Calls for Renewed Mobilizations to free Elián

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Mon Dec 20 21:54:19 MST 1999

    Cuban leader Fidel Castro in a long statement carried today on Cuban web
sites calls for launching a second stage of popular mobilizations to free
Elián González.

    Fidel notes that, after the first wave of mobilizations which culminated
on Friday, Dec. 10, the U.S. gave signs of wanting to solve the case, and
functionaries of the U.S. Immigration Service met with Elian's dad and
received from him authenticated copies of records showing that he is indeed
the boy's father and has been intimately involved in his upbringing. The
U.S. claimed it needed this paperwork to act on the father's demand that his
son be restored to him -- although no similar documentation was required of
the boy's great uncle, who had never even met the child before, when the INS
placed the boy in his care within 24 hours of Elián being found adrift on
the high seas.

    "What is being initiated today is the second stage of the mass battle
that we have been waging since Sunday, December 5," Fidel said.l "It has
been and remains a battle of ideas, of public opinion, both national and
international, of human,  ethical and legal principles, between Cuba and the
Empire, a battle that in Cuba is being supported by one of the biggest and
most combative mobilizations ever to take place in all our history."

    (Lo que se inicia hoy es la segunda etapa de la batalla de masas que
venimos librando desde el domingo cinco de diciembre. Ha sido y es una
batalla de ideas, de opinion publica nacional e internacional, de principios
legales, eticos y humanos, entre Cuba y el Imperio, que en nuestra patria es
apoyada por una de las mas grandes y combativas movilizaciones que ha tenido
lugar a lo largo de nuestra historia.)

    So far, I've seen or heard reports about the following kinds of
activities: picket lines/protests in front of federal government facilities;
petition campaigns; press conferences and letters to the editor or op-ed
pieces. Cuba has projected this as a single issue campaign around Elian's
case, although, obviously, it is intimately tied to the ongoing immigration
tug of war between Havana and Washington and to the whole hostile U.S.
policy towards Cuba, epitomized by the economic blockade. Thus the case
presents an opportunity to enter into a dialogue with others about Cuba and
U.S. policy towards it.

    However modest the efforts we make may be, they are of great importance,
because they serve as concrete proof to the people of Cuba that they are not
alone in this battle and they are a reminder to Clinton of the majority
support in this country for Elian's repatriation.


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