The Americanization of Elián

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at
Fri Jan 28 15:45:44 MST 2000

Louis Proyect wrote:

> NY Times, 1/28/00:
> For the grandmothers, too, the meeting was unsettling in another way. After
> returning to Washington to lobby for custody of the boy, they said they had
> barely recognized him.
> "He's changed completely," said Mariela Quintana, mother of Elián's mother,
> Elizabet Broton González, told reporters.
> In the fashion of teenagers, Elián showed up at the meeting on Wednesday
> wearing a gold chain. He has been taught to wear baseball caps, backwards,
> and to use beepers and cell phones. He plays Nintendo games and watches
> video movies.

I have always felt very uneasy with this battle for Elián. It's deadly risky.

This most unconventional of political causes walks on a very tight rope between
the sublime and the ridiculous. It can still lead us to an embarrassing defeat
at the hands of the whimsical moods of a child.

João Paulo

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