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Discussion about Elian Gonzalez’ Story and Removal from His Relatives

Was the seizure of Elian Gonzalez from his Miami Relatives in the best interest of Elian. Most Americans think so. According to an ABC poll, 59% of Americans think the boy should be returned to his father and sent back to Cuba. Parental rights have been the number one argument for those in favor of having the boy returned to his father. Senator John Warner of Virginia stated in a letter regarding the Elian case, that unless Elians father is proven to be totally unfit or unable to care for Elian, preserving the relationship between a parent and child must be our foremost responsibility.

Most people in favor of Elians return to his father must believe that Juan Miguel is a fit and caring father. Furthermore, if these people genuinely care about his well being, they have to believe that Cubas not a bad place to raise a family. As long as he has his father, young Elian will be OK. Lets take a closer look at the Country where Juan Miguel Gonzalez wants to raise his son and then decide if this is really a place where a fit and caring parent would raise a child.

Each year the State Department and Human Rights Organizations continue to blast Cuba for Human Rights violations. Cuban citizens including children who voice their disagreements with Cuba are routinely threatened, defamed, tortured, beaten and imprisoned without trials and children are separated from their parents to be raised by the state. What if Elian decides to voice his discontent with the Cuban government in any way, shape or form? The Cuban Constitution states that all legally recognized civil liberties can be denied to anyone who actively opposes the “decision of the Cuban people to build socialism.” In a 1997 report, the U.S. State department stated that The State has assumed the right to interfere in the lives of all citizens, even those who do not actively oppose the Government and its practices. The mass organizations’ ostensible purpose is to “improve” the citizenry, but in fact their goal is to seek out and discourage nonconformity. There goes Elians freedom to think and act as an individual.

I have heard many people say that Cuba is getting better. Human Rights conditions are improving. Thats not the case. Two months ago, the United Nations Human Rights Commission condemned Cuba, for the eighth time, for its systematic violation of human rights. Amnesty International and the U.S. State Department have done the same. Just this year, the Clinton Administration labeled Cuba as one of the worlds worst human rights violators and a terrorist regime.

Armando Valldares U.S., ambassador to the U.N. Human Rights Commission from 1986-1990, spent 22 years in a Cuban prison for refusing to pledge allegiance to the Communist Regime. Armando has told a story about a 12-year-old boy named Robertico The boy was caught playing with a gun that he found in an opened political police captains car. Robertico was sent to a galley with common criminals. Within a few days, those soulless prisoners raped him. He spent several days in the hospital for treatment of rents and hemorrhages as a result. By the time he was released, his file had been stamped “homosexual” and he was taken to the prison area reserved for this classification. The horror stories go on and on. It is no wonder why 20% of the Cuban population have risked their lives to flee the country.

Elians reindoctrination into communist Cuba has already begun on U.S. soil. The Washington Times displayed pictures of the boy in the uniform of Cuba’s communist youth Pioneers at the Wye Plantation in Maryland. According to a youth Pioneers manual kids are taught games such as “Bridge Attack,” “Mine Layers,” “Night Infiltration,” “Eliminate the Sentry,” “Coastal Infiltration,” and “Throwing Grenades Through Windows.” Martha Molina Puerto, a Cuban psychologist who fled Cuba in August 1999

Wrote that This is one enormous apparatus around the child who lacks any freedom to express himself.” “As far as Elian is concerned, he is back in Cuba, pledging allegiance to the ‘Maximum Leader,’ ” said Frank Calzon of the Center for a Free Cuba. There is no doubt that Elian has already and will lose a tremendous amount of freedom upon returning to Cuba.

This is the life Elians father wants for him. Is this not a form of child abuse? What if a parent in this country wanted their child to go to a paramilitary camp for kids. Maybe a place where kids would be punished for having pictures or stories glorifying the enemy they are being trained to hate. If they in anyway voiced their opposition to their leaders views they would be subjected to further punishment or treated as outcasts by those around them. If a parent in this country subjected their child to this form of abuse, there would be a large outcry to have the child taken from his or her parents. This is the life Juan Miguel Gonzalez wants for his son. Yet in the name of parental rights, most Americans want Elian to return to Cuba with his father. Judge Edmondson, who presides in the Atlanta court that heard the Gonzalez case, bought up the conditions in which Elian would have to live, twice calling the Castro Regime “a communist, totalitarian state.” Furthermore, he compared Elian to children who were denied medical care by their parents for religious purposes. I hope that most Americans have no idea of what Cuba is really like. Because if they do, and still want Elian returned to his father, they are advocating child abuse.

Did anyone stop to think why most Cuban people in this country are strongly opposed to Elians return to Cuba. Could it be that they have been there or have heard countless horror stories from friends and family members who have. They should have been given more and probably the most respect in this matter since they have a better understanding of the conditions Elian will be forced to live in. Instead, the Cuban people and the Miami relatives in particular were looked at and treated by the government and the press as if they were a bunch of rejects who had no idea of what they were talking about.

Audience Analysis: This paper was written for those in favor of returning Elian Gonzalez to his father and ultimately Cuba. The purpose is to have these people rethink their stance on the issue by introducing facts and thoughts that the majority of the press failed to introduce. Most of the people for whom this paper was written used parental rights as the reason they supported Elians return to his father. I will argue against the parental rights issue as it applies to this case. In addition, I will present more evidence in support of keeping Elian in the United States.

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