Statement by the Cuban National Assembly

Jose G. Perez jgperez at
Tue Dec 21 18:23:45 MST 1999

    Cuba's campaign to win the freedom of Elián González continues to gain

    The National Assembly of People's Power, Cuba's unicameral legislature,
initiated its second period of meetings for 1999 on Monday with a discussion
of the case. After discussing the issue and receiving a letter from the
boy's father, the National Assembly adopted a resolution on the case, which
is reprinted below.

      The translation is from the Radio Habana Cuba web site:

*  *  *


For more than 40 years, the Cuban people have heroically resisted the
permanent and systematic aggression of the government of the United States.

Washington's administrations have waged an economic war against Cuba since
1959 -- trying to cause diseases, shortages and suffering among the people,
obstructing travel and normal communication between both nations, punishing
its own citizens when they break their severe bans and, at the same time,
disrespectfully and perfidiously manipulating migratory issues.

Since January 1st, 1959, the government of the United States welcomed the
thieves, torturers and embezzlers of Batista's tyranny, and the exploiters
whose interests were affected by the revolutionary measures taken in favor
of the people.  It has encouraged the island's doctors, professionals and
technicians to leave and go to the United States.

Washington has carried out an insidious defamatory campaign which reached
its highest and most repugnant climax with the so-called Operation Peter Pan
that took more than 14,000 Cuban children away from their homes.  It has
also automatically admitted all those who reach U.S. dry land without first
complying with migratory formalities, including those who used violence,
hijacked boats or killed people in order to achieve their goal. Thus, the
U.S. government "sanctions" that policy with the so-called Cuban Adjustment
Act of 1966, a law that only exists for Cubans, the reach of which now
irresponsibly extends in a clear contradiction and violation of the
migratory accords.

The kidnapping of 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez is the worst and most abominable
expression of that policy.

In a few hours, exactly a month will have passed since the tragic wreck of
the boat in which Elian traveled to the United States without his father's
authorization. It was another case of illegal trafficking of people
encouraged, first of all, by officially- supported radio stations that
broadcast 200 hours of daily programming against Cuba and, especially, by
the already mentioned law and the tolerance of the U.S. Administration.

Initially, Washington hypocritically tried to ignore the child's father's
right to the legal custody of his son and the clear international, Cuban and
U.S. laws in this respect. Elian was delivered to a Mafia that has kept him
kidnapped in a strange environment and separated from his father and his
grandparents, and also away from his school, his friends and his home.  What
is more, he is under mental and psychological pressures in what is a cruel
and inhumane act that violates his personal integrity.

However, U.S. authorities have delayed the possibility of reversing their
mistake and are allowing time to go by without any consideration for either
the pain caused to the child and to his family or for the serious
consequences that this situation may bring to his well-being, his health and
his personal integrity.

Many specialists around the world, including renowned doctors, psychologists
and experts from the United States, agree that the longer the child remains
in that strange environment, the deeper the psychological damage will

In spite of their just indignation, Elian's family has satisfied all the
formalities requested by U.S. immigration institutions. Now, the United
States has the obligation to immediately send the child back to the home
from which he was illegally taken away.

How much longer will they wait?  What else is needed to put an end to the
suffering of the child, the father and the family?  Can this situation be
beneficial for the noble people of the U.S. and for the millions of U.S.
citizens who believe in the family and the protection of a child's personal

The acts of a government that considers itself responsible cannot depend on
the pressures of a terrorist Mafia or on corrupt individuals.

The National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba demands that
Elian Gonzalez is once and for all sent back to his home and requests that
all parliaments, governments, political parties, religious, social and
non-governmental organizations and people of goodwill throughout the world
also demand that the U.S. government releases this 6-year-old child so that
he can go back to his father, to his home and to his nation.

The Cuban Parliament is also issuing a special request to the United Nations
Secretary General, to the President of the General Assembly of that
organization and to the Director General of the United Nations Children's
Fund -- calling on them to demand that the U.S. government immediately
return the child, in accordance with international law.

The National Assembly calls on the Cuban people to double their efforts in
the fight for the liberation of Elian Gonzalez, who has become a symbol of
the dignity of our nation.  That the people raise their voices in every
corner of the island and proclaim -- in one unanimous voice of men, women,
children, young and old -- that they will not rest until this crime has been



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