El drama cubano ante el mundo

In April, 2000, Miami, and all the United States of America, and the world, Elian Gonzalez became 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 Thanksgiving Day 1999 by two fishermen, who brought him ashore. He stayed under INS parole with relatives in Miami. I was in awe of how much legal help was being generously given day after day to Elian's Miami relatives. At the very least, it was very consoling to have so much available defense!

And Fidel? He was busy hosting the South Summit in Havana. The fact that a relevant and important forum like the Summit was 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 had a special appeal also for more than the Cuban people in Cuba.

At least 50 heads of state and government confirmed their personal participation among the delegations of ministers, diplomats and officials of numerous agencies and organisations from about 173 countries. This historic occasion was attended by most of the leaders of the Caribbean Community, including Prime Minister Basdeo Panday of Trinidad and Tobago. Caribbean heads of government felt that the South Summit was an important occasion for them to provide the political underpinning for co-operative action among developing states

In 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 did they behave 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! I saw on TV how quickly anyone who dissented with their opinion that Elian should not be returned to his father was whisked away in city police cars "in order to avoid trouble".

Elian was returned to his father. 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 regarding Cuba.

The INS removed Elian from his uncle's house - photos.

4/22/00 - Elian is reunited with his Dad!


6/28/2000 - ELIAN GONZALEZ returned to Cuba with his Dad!!!






Friday, February 8, 2002
Freedom Forum presents Elian Gonzalez with Free Spirit Award


Friday, April 22, 2005 - Elian saga altered lives 



Elian at 11 - September, 2005