4/11/00 - In Miami, and in all the United States of America, and the world, Elian
Gonzalez has become a household name because of all the media publicity involved
in the petition filed on his behalf by his Miami relatives for him to be allowed
to stay in this country. He, of course, for anyone who still does not know, is
the little Cuban castaway found floating in an inner tube last Thanksgiving Day
by two fishermen, who brought him ashore. He has since then been under INS parole
with relatives in Miami.
is something that I really cannot understand about how much legal help is available
to the Miami relatives of Elian in their quest to keep him in the USA. I imagine
that this help is being given to them free of charge. I know that I would not
be able to afford such a slew of lawyers for such a long period of time. Why are
these lawyers, 1) giving them misleading advice and false hopes about winning
their case, and 2) is it correct for lawyers practicing in the United States to
defy the INS' mandate with regard to this child and encourage the Miami relatives
to continue with, and to start new legal proceedings, even as they should be preparing
the boy to be re-united with his father? Are these lawyers American citizens bound
to uphold the law, or are they from the beginning in contempt of it?
justice difficult to obtain, even in this great land of freedom and democracy?
Last year, I was receiving Unemployment Benefits for four months when they were
abruptly stopped. I was advised that these benefits were now considered an "over-payment"
and in spite of attending a hearing, at which time I laid my well-founded case
against such a ruling, it was upheld both at the hearing and after a later written
appeal. Through no fault of my own, I now have to re-pay a large sum of money
to which I was financially entitled but the employer objected to my receiving
it. In the face of this injustice, I could not afford a lawyer to fight for me,
even using any effective argument they could pull up. In any case, lawyers usually
do not work for free and they do not eagerly take such cases as mine. Even the
EEOC prefers to make class-action suits! So, I am undeed in awe of how much legal
help is being generously given day after day to Elian's Miami relatives. At the
very least, it is very consoling to have so much available defense!
Fidel? He is busy hosting this week's South Summit in Havana. The fact that a
relevant and important forum like the Summit is being held in Cuba, a small nation
in the Caribbean, one that for more than three decades has been subjected to an
unprecedented trade, economic and financial embargo by the world's sole superpower,
USA, must have a special appeal also for more than the Cuban people in Cuba.
least 50 heads of state and government have confirmed their personal participation
among the delegations of ministers, diplomats and officials of numerous agencies
and organisations from about 173 countries. This historic occasion will be attended
by most of the leaders of the Caribbean Community, including Prime
Minister Basdeo Panday of Trinidad and Tobago. I am proud as a Trinidadian
of Prime Minister, Mr.Basdeo Panday. Caribbean heads of government feel that the
South Summit will be an important occasion for them to provide the political underpinning
for co-operative action among developing states
Miami, the whole "Elian" episode has displayed how much political "pull" the Cuban
lobby has in Miami, in Florida and indeed, in the U.S. Congress. We have seen
on different occasions how demonstrative and ugly the Miami Cuban crowds can be
when they are denied their desired outcome of any issue affecting them. Should
we all behave like this, or should they just tone down a bit? Because if they
don't, they are creating behavior in my city and its environs which dictates to
the rest of us how we, as a city, are perceived. Did I say, dictate? If Fidel
is the dictator that they so oppose, why are they behaving in the same beligerent,
unyielding manner, defying the rules of the country where they have been so well
received and where they continue to prosper? It seems that if Cuba is in the business
of producing dictators - then they are all now in Miami! After seeing on TV how
quickly anyone who dissents with their opinion that Elian should not be returned
to his father is whisked away in city police cars "in order to avoid trouble".
Is this, then, at the bottom of Lazaro Gonzalez' decision to continue to make
demands of the INS instead of respectfully complying with their order, which is
the law.. Is he also afraid of displeasing his community? I can only shudder to
think of what might be the reprisal to him and his family, should be disagree
with the open public opinion voiced every night in front of his home?
Elian goes back or not, I am now a little less in love with Miami! I must admit
I am also more than a bit disconcerted by the blatant misuse of our freedoms and
much more aware that the hatred of the Cubans in Miami for Fidel also extends
to any other citizen of Miami who would dare to disagree with them In contrast,
the seeming tolerance of the USA during these recent events should serve to alert
the US government to the need for less tolerance in implementing present laws
and the need for the evolvement in the USA of new approaches
- Elian is reunited with his Dad!
28th, 2000 - ELIAN GONZALEZ returned to Cuba with his Dad!!!
Friday, February 8, 2002
Freedom Forum presents Elian Gonzalez with Free Spirit
April 22, 2005 - Elian saga altered lives