The tender arms of a tyrant

Was your graduation from the sixth grade shown on national television and presided over by the country's president? No? Well, buddy, it's too bad for you that you weren't a friend of Fidel Castro and a citizen of the greatest nation on Earth.

From the Associated Press, July 22:

Cuban President Fidel Castro said in a speech published Friday that he's honored to be a friend of Elian Gonzalez, the boy at the center of an international custody dispute five years ago.

"I have the privilege to be his friend," Castro said Thursday night during Elian's sixth—grade graduation in the coastal city of Cardenas, east of Havana.
 
The speech was broadcast on state television and published Friday in the Communist Party daily Granma.

Elian, now 11, was the subject of a high—profile legal and ideological battle between his father in Cuba and family members in South Florida, both who claimed custody.
 
Elian was taken to his relatives in Miami in November 1999 after he was found clinging to an inner tube in the waters off Florida. He was among three people who survived when their boat bound from Cuba to the United States sank.

Elian's mother was among those who perished.

After a seven—month battle, Elian returned with his father to Cuba in June 2000.

Put aside — for the moment — the ridiculousness of any spectacle involving Castro ascending from his hole to attend his 'friend's' graduation from grammar school and presenting it as the feel—good movie/novel of the year throughout the island. That is revolting enough as it is, but how about that last sentence in the AP's dispatch? 'After a seven—month battle, Elian returned with his father to Cuba in June 2000.'

How pathetic. That phrase suggests a judge banged his gavel, Elian's caretakers in Miami bade a melancholy farewell and father and son made their merry way 90 miles south to the land of milk and honey. In addition, the conflict was a hell of a lot more than an 'ideological battle.' It was a battle between freedom and slavery.

For those in the media who have forgotten, Elian was the central focus in perhaps the most shameful and poignant action the government of the United States has taken in, well, perhaps ever. Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno directed federal agents to raid the Miami home in which Elian was staying in the dead of night and — at the point of multiple guns — snatched the screaming child away and sent him back to the clutches of a most brutal dictatorship.

All of this was after Reno literally made a federal case out of the situation. Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, sought custody of his son and wanted to return with him to Cuba. The case was complex legally and emotionally, but the United States, as represented by Reno and her Justice Department, seemed unusually eager to get this child back to Cuba. Reno's Justice Department claimed to have 'worked with' Elian's Miami relatives to comply with court orders siding with the Justice Department that demanded that Elian and his father be reunited.

Reno's statement http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2000/April/225ag.htm immediately following Elian's capture was filled with offensive statement after offensive statement:

'Good morning.'

'Elian Gonzalez is a child who needs to be cherished.'

'So this morning I commenced an operation with the paramount concern being the well—being of Elian and the safety of the agents and others.'

'Eight agents were in the house during the operation.'

And on and on. In Reno's addled mind, scaring the wits out of a child with beefy federal agents wielding really big guns was in the child's best interests. Sending him back to an imprisoned island was in the child's best interests. Reno used Elian to try and show that she was the brave upholder of the law at any cost. Today Castro continues to use the child in attempt to foist his version of paradise on a nation and a world in which nobody is fooled, save the odd celebrity now and then.

It is understandable and quite natural that Elian's father wanted him back — though no less shortsighted than Reno. Parents do not own their children, and who or what supersedes Elian's mother's wish for her son to live in freedom? In Janet Reno's America, a father's desire to admittedly let his son be used as a political tool by a murderous dictator trumped the dying wish of a mother doing what she could to save her son's life and secure his future. Castro and Reno (acting on behalf of her boss) used the boy for personal ends and neither of them had Elian's best interests in mind. Obviously, Castro uses and abuses the innocent boy still. Father and son both know well the consequences of deviating from the party line.

While the events of September 11, the war on terror and recent attempts to scare Londoners have put Elian's kidnapping in the rearview mirror of the collective consciousness, many have not nor will ever forget what happened and who was responsible. Elian's mother gave her life so her son could live in freedom, a chance to be his own man and pursue his own dreams. Man's inalienable right to his own life and to pursue the blessings of liberty is non—existent in Cuba. The absence of the freedom of thought and action is slavery.

But Reno was having none of that. The left claimed another victim of compassionate sensitivity, and another sordid chapter in the legacy of the Clinton Administration's appeasement of the terror masters was written.

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; his website is http://mattymay.blogspot.com

Was your graduation from the sixth grade shown on national television and presided over by the country's president? No? Well, buddy, it's too bad for you that you weren't a friend of Fidel Castro and a citizen of the greatest nation on Earth.

From the Associated Press, July 22:

Cuban President Fidel Castro said in a speech published Friday that he's honored to be a friend of Elian Gonzalez, the boy at the center of an international custody dispute five years ago.

"I have the privilege to be his friend," Castro said Thursday night during Elian's sixth—grade graduation in the coastal city of Cardenas, east of Havana.
 
The speech was broadcast on state television and published Friday in the Communist Party daily Granma.

Elian, now 11, was the subject of a high—profile legal and ideological battle between his father in Cuba and family members in South Florida, both who claimed custody.
 
Elian was taken to his relatives in Miami in November 1999 after he was found clinging to an inner tube in the waters off Florida. He was among three people who survived when their boat bound from Cuba to the United States sank.

Elian's mother was among those who perished.

After a seven—month battle, Elian returned with his father to Cuba in June 2000.

Put aside — for the moment — the ridiculousness of any spectacle involving Castro ascending from his hole to attend his 'friend's' graduation from grammar school and presenting it as the feel—good movie/novel of the year throughout the island. That is revolting enough as it is, but how about that last sentence in the AP's dispatch? 'After a seven—month battle, Elian returned with his father to Cuba in June 2000.'

How pathetic. That phrase suggests a judge banged his gavel, Elian's caretakers in Miami bade a melancholy farewell and father and son made their merry way 90 miles south to the land of milk and honey. In addition, the conflict was a hell of a lot more than an 'ideological battle.' It was a battle between freedom and slavery.

For those in the media who have forgotten, Elian was the central focus in perhaps the most shameful and poignant action the government of the United States has taken in, well, perhaps ever. Clinton Attorney General Janet Reno directed federal agents to raid the Miami home in which Elian was staying in the dead of night and — at the point of multiple guns — snatched the screaming child away and sent him back to the clutches of a most brutal dictatorship.

All of this was after Reno literally made a federal case out of the situation. Elian's father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, sought custody of his son and wanted to return with him to Cuba. The case was complex legally and emotionally, but the United States, as represented by Reno and her Justice Department, seemed unusually eager to get this child back to Cuba. Reno's Justice Department claimed to have 'worked with' Elian's Miami relatives to comply with court orders siding with the Justice Department that demanded that Elian and his father be reunited.

Reno's statement http://www.usdoj.gov/opa/pr/2000/April/225ag.htm immediately following Elian's capture was filled with offensive statement after offensive statement:

'Good morning.'

'Elian Gonzalez is a child who needs to be cherished.'

'So this morning I commenced an operation with the paramount concern being the well—being of Elian and the safety of the agents and others.'

'Eight agents were in the house during the operation.'

And on and on. In Reno's addled mind, scaring the wits out of a child with beefy federal agents wielding really big guns was in the child's best interests. Sending him back to an imprisoned island was in the child's best interests. Reno used Elian to try and show that she was the brave upholder of the law at any cost. Today Castro continues to use the child in attempt to foist his version of paradise on a nation and a world in which nobody is fooled, save the odd celebrity now and then.

It is understandable and quite natural that Elian's father wanted him back — though no less shortsighted than Reno. Parents do not own their children, and who or what supersedes Elian's mother's wish for her son to live in freedom? In Janet Reno's America, a father's desire to admittedly let his son be used as a political tool by a murderous dictator trumped the dying wish of a mother doing what she could to save her son's life and secure his future. Castro and Reno (acting on behalf of her boss) used the boy for personal ends and neither of them had Elian's best interests in mind. Obviously, Castro uses and abuses the innocent boy still. Father and son both know well the consequences of deviating from the party line.

While the events of September 11, the war on terror and recent attempts to scare Londoners have put Elian's kidnapping in the rearview mirror of the collective consciousness, many have not nor will ever forget what happened and who was responsible. Elian's mother gave her life so her son could live in freedom, a chance to be his own man and pursue his own dreams. Man's inalienable right to his own life and to pursue the blessings of liberty is non—existent in Cuba. The absence of the freedom of thought and action is slavery.

But Reno was having none of that. The left claimed another victim of compassionate sensitivity, and another sordid chapter in the legacy of the Clinton Administration's appeasement of the terror masters was written.

Matt May can be reached at matthewtmay@yahoo.com; his website is http://mattymay.blogspot.com