The Americanization of Elián

Jose G. Perez jgperez at SPAMfreepcmail.com
Sun Jan 30 19:32:17 MST 2000



> 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.

    The battle for Elián is not one we chose. It is one the Clinton
administration and the right-wing Miami mafia imposed on the Cuban people.
The Cuban revolution could not turn its back on this child any more than the
sun could decide not to rise in the morning.

    The gusanería, and especially Marisleysis, Lázaro González's
20-some-year-old daughter who still lives at home and is the one who looks
after Elián day and night, have undoubtedly tried to fill his head with all
kinds of ideas and fears.

    I listen to Marisleysis very closely every time she's near the cameras.
Of one thing she is absolutely convinced. Elián "wants to stay here." That
is her only argument. How can she be so sure? She wakes him up in the
morning. She feeds him. She dresses him. She puts him to bed at night. She
can be so sure because she knows what she's told him. That if he goes back
to Cuba he might drown in the boat going back. That his mother wants him to
be in Miami. That Fidel grinds children into sausages and sends them to
Russia. It is child's play to terrorize a six year old and make him say and
do anything you want.

    My son is half a year younger than Elián. He lives in a world of his own
that's just beginning to differentiate into the real world and fantasy. The
damage being done to Elián I don't think are so much in his values, he's
still a little young for that. The damage that is being done is in his
relationship to his family, and to adults. He will never again be able to
enjoy the security of unquestioning trust in the adults around him who say
they love him and will take care of him.

    We must not, for one second, give in to the monstrous pretension that
Elián now assume responsibility for his own destiny. He is a small boy. He
can say all he wants about what he wants, but he should be secure in the
knowledge that his father, who has always been with him, will decide what's
best. Children need to understand that they are *free*  from such
responsibilities, that they don't have to worry about it, that their parents
will decide for them.

    The material things will not harm him, not really. What's gold to a six
year old? Shiny. As any parent knows, you can get a child the most wondrous,
expensive toys in the world, and it will still be that silly stuffed rabbit
his aunt bought him for Easter when he was nine months old that his favorite
toy.

    Yes, when his dad gets him back he's going to have to contend with quite
a spoilt little brat. That too, will pass. Many parents at one stage or
another of our relationships with out children have faced the same thing.

    Elián should be free to have what you call "the whimsical moods of a
child." I'm interested in what he says he wants, but what is decisive for
me --as it is with the raising of my own daughter and son-- isn't what they
want, but what they need. And Elian NEEDS to be home with his father.

José
----- Original Message -----
From: "João Paulo Monteiro" <jpmonteiro at mail.telepac.pt>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Friday, January 28, 2000 5:14 PM
Subject: Re: The Americanization of Elián


>
>
> 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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