* Dr. Enrique J. Cantón, "Guardian Angel rescues Cuban kid!"

* Ariel Remos, "Declaran víctimas de casos que se equiparan al de Elián"

* Hanna Rosin, "Little Havana's ‘El Milagro’ "

* Dr. Alberto Luzárraga, "The ‘cumulative record’ awaits Elian in Cuba"

* Jeff Jacoby, "If Elian returns to Cuba, misery awaits him"

* Diario Las Américas, "Fidel Castro secuestró a su hijo hace 40 años"

* DLA, "Organismos de Derechos Humanos que Sólo se Preocupan por Defender a los Comunistas"

* DLA, "Human Rights Organizations Whose Only Concern is to Defend Communists"

* ACI, "Cuba distorsiona encuentro de su canciller con el Papa"


Guardian Angel rescues Cuban kid!

My name is Dr. Enrique J. Canton. I am a pediatrician in Miami for

over 20 years. I am also cuban-american, and am involved actively in the

little rafter Elian Gonzalez plight to stay in the U.S. I don't know if you

are aware that when the 2 fishermen found him floating in the sea, hanging

on to a tire, he was praying in spanish, the prayer that his mother taught

him, to the Guardian Angel, to protect him and save him. These were the last

words she told him before she drowned.

As you know, there were dolphins(mammals) all around him when he was

found, and if you know anything about fishing, whenever there are dolphins

around, there are no sharks. This is not a romantic or fictitious story.

Because it has a religious significance, the media in this country (which is

paranoic about any religious story) will not report it.

Thanks for all you do on behalf of the unborn.

Sincerely yours,

Enrique J. Canton M.D.,FAAP

725 Anastasia Ave. Coral Gables, Fl 33134 ECanton@Doctor.com


The Washington Post, January 22, 2000

Little Havana's 'El Milagro'

In 6-Year-Old Elian, Many Miami Cubans See Divine Intervention

Hanna Rosin

Washington Post Staff Writer

When Jose Basulto first got a call about the little Cuban boy who had been rescued at sea near the Florida coast, he didn't think much of it. As president of Brothers to the Rescue, Basulto has helped save hundreds of waterlogged refugees, and this one sounded like a routine case.

Once he arrived at the hospital, it soon became clear that this rescue, involving a 6-year-old named Elian Gonzalez, was not routine at all. Unlike the other two survivors of the accident that killed Elian's mother and nine others, Cubans say the boy had no scratches on his legs, no sunburn, and he was not especially dehydrated after clinging to an inner tube for two days.

"I've seen 450 cases of these rafters, and I've never seen one like this," said Basulto. "Two days with his feet dangling in the water and no fish bites? No scratches? Nothing? There's no other explanation: This was an act of God."

Like many in Miami's tight Cuban community, Basulto has begun to refer to Elian by another name: El Milagro--The Miracle. Belief in his destiny has spread beyond the small group of extreme anti-Castro activists such as Basulto who have helped to promote the "miracle" of Elian. In the newsletters and restaurants of Little Havana, stories circulate about the school of dolphins that nudged the boy to safety, the hovering angels who warded off sharks.

Elian Gonzalez has been called a political pawn, a symbol of American imperial arrogance to Fidel Castro, a symbol of Castro's tyranny to his enemies. To those various identities the Cuban community of Miami has added one other: "He is the Cuban Messiah," said Orlando Battista, a self-appointed family spokesman.

This prophetic element adds a twist to the political story. The community's ability to keep Elian in America despite public opinion is usually described as evidence of their political savvy, of one small immigrant community's success at exploiting their high-level connections, manipulating the American system.

But this mystical belief in the boy messiah uncovers their more vulnerable side. By identifying so thoroughly with this helpless boy, the community is revealing its desperation, and its sometimes fatalistic strain.

Many who fled Cuba when Castro took over in 1959 are now entering their seventies and are afraid they'll die before he's deposed. Faced with the disappointment, "they're desperately looking for some sign, some announcement, some harbinger, and this boy is it," said Max Castro, a sociologist at the University of Miami who studies Cuban immigrants and is no relation to Fidel.

The religious fervor is not entirely out of character for the Miami community, although it's usually buried beneath their political persona. Most are Catholic and have faith in divine intervention.

That faith has always been open to miracle stories, usually involving Our Lady of Charity, the patron saint of Cuba. About 15 years ago, for example, a rumor spread in Miami that she had been seen in Havana and the local community took it as a prophetic sign that things were about to change.

In Elian's case, the messianic stories began two days after the rescue, when a caller to one of Miami's radio stations said he'd heard that the fisherman who rescued Elian on Thanksgiving Day had seen him surrounded by dolphins, traditionally the sea-bound messengers of angels.

In later versions, Elian was seen reaching his hand out to an angel floating above him. In some tellings, she is described as Our Lady of Charity, soother of panicked seamen. (In Cuban mythology, a virgin appeared before three fishermen lost at sea and promised to protect them. She led them to safety and they built a statue called Our Lady of Charity in her honor.)

A recent drawing in La Verdad (The Truth), a popular Little Havana newspaper, shows young Elian resting peacefully in his inner tube staring into the sky as a school of dolphins leap around him and two angels hover above.

Of course, the myth sometimes shows little deference to the facts. When Elian was discovered, he did in fact show the physical signs of having been lost at sea. And Donato Dalrymple, the "fisherman" who found Elian, says he's not actually a fisherman, just a businessman who was fishing that day. He personally acknowledges that he did not see any dolphins, only what he calls "dolphin-fish." Yet he too said he believes they were both there--the dolphins and the angels.

"If you met Elian you would realize he has a vivid understanding of everything that's happened," said Dalrymple. "He was looking directly at me and he said, 'There's the man that pulled me out of the water when there were a lot of dolphins around me.' Every doll they give him, he names it 'dolphin.' He remembers when his mother went under, and when an angel appeared to him at nighttime."

The stories have even outgrown Cuban mythology. Elian, found floating in the water, is compared to Moses, even obliquely to Jesus.

"The daughter of the pharaoh took in Moses and this changed the history of the Hebrews," wrote Jose Marmol, a columnist in one of the Cuban papers. "Moses lived to lead his people out of slavery in Egypt to the promised land of Israel, an exodus that lasted 40 years--about the same as our exile from Cuba. . . . Many see [Elian] as the messenger of a miraculous mission to return the liberty to the suffering Cuban people."

Basulto calls Elian "the child" in a reverential tone that reverses the usual order of deference between adults and children, a tone reserved for such figures as the next Dalai Lama.

"I visit him every day," said Basulto. "I want to know everything about the child. It's important for me to find out, if I may say so, his mission. This child is part of a miracle. I don't know exactly what it is but I am curious."

With the prophet discovered, the minor characters fall into place. Stories are told about Marisleysis Gonzalez, Elian's self-appointed substitute mother; about her saintliness, her suffering; often, it's said in local newspapers, she faints suddenly.

Others around Elian are starting to think of themselves as apostles.

"In church a man once prophesied that I would be involved in something big," said Dalrymple, who used to be a missionary. "The man didn't know me, and he was weeping when he said it. . . . What I get out of this is that God can still use me. He [Elian] was in my path and I did what God wanted me to do. I saved the boy's life."

In this cast of Biblical characters, Fidel Castro fits quite neatly as the devil.

"I believe in God, and believe in diabolical agents," said Basulto. "And Castro is one."

There are voices of temperance among the fervor, but they are few. Max Castro wrote an op-ed article in the Miami Herald headlined "Replace Hate with Reconciliation," urging his fellow exiles to stop seeing the world through the filter of "the white hot hatred of Fidel Castro. . . . Hatred of a regime justifies keeping a child from his father against all law and logic," he writes.

Or mention the dolphins to Elena Freyre of the Cuban Committee for Democracy, the moderate voice in the Cuban American community, and she laughs.

"The poor kid," she said. "he must be confused with all this astrology. And who knows if he's even baptized?"

The "cumulative record" awaits Elian in Cuba

Alberto Luzárraga

In a recent article I explained how the Cuban legislation affects a young man or a child. The Code of the Child and of Youth (law #16 of June 28 1978) demands that every child receive communist formation so that he develops a communist personality. Art 8 of that code requires that the state protect him from other influences. It says so in these words: "Society and the State work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their communist formation."

The Cuban constitution demands the same and states in its article 39 that the education must be Marxist. Art 62 of the Cuban constitution states "that no rights granted by this constitution can be exercised against the existence of and objectives of the communist state. The infraction of this article is punishable."

You are either a communist or a felon.

At that time I commented on how grave an infraction this is of a basic human right, the right to educate ones own children. We pointed out, how parental rights have been made into a sorry appearance of rights, with no substance, given the fact that in addition to this educational abuse children are forcefully separated form their parents and sent to government boarding schools at age eleven. I went into all the legalities in some detail then and I won't repeat them now, as the purpose of this article is to answer a question.

Some people have asked me how does the government manage to enforce such an arbitrary law. Can't you compensate by educating at home?

Good question and a typical question of a concerned parent living in a free society. The problem is ( pay attention free society parents ) that Cuba is a totalitarian society. Let me explain. A totalitarian society is different from a garden-variety dictatorship. A run of the mill dictator wants to stay in power. He doesn't really care what you think as long as you don't challenge his power. A totalitarian dictator wants all citizens to march in absolute lockstep no only in actions but also in THOUGHT.

Yes, George Orwell was right when he talked about the thought police. The code of the Child decrees what you SHALL think, and the cumulative record sees to it that you do.

How does it work? From the moment you enter school, a record is kept of your achievement but these are not only academic achievements, they include an evaluation of your political attitude and your participation in "mass organizations" a communist euphemism for forced participation into their brainwashing shenanigans.

If you have religious tendencies that is a demerit, if your family goes to church that is also a demerit, if you say things that don't sound right it is presumed you learned them at home. This is not only a demerit but also the beginning of a check on your parents. The objective is to put pressure on the bonds of love in the family. Be careful no say anything good and different and lest the child innocently repeat it, thus compromising his future.

Why does it compromise his future? Because the infamous code of the child states in its article 23 that students advance " on the basis of their academic achievement, political attitude and social conduct.

By the way, social conduct means joining all the required party organizations for youth etc.

It does' t stop here, it continues through the university and through your adult life. When you start working you have a labor record with the same type of criteria.

Do you understand now Elian's mother desperation? Do you really want to send this child miraculously saved to that inferno?

I think not, if you area parent that loves his child as I am sure you do.

So please look beyond the many propaganda ploys. Learn about daily life in a totalitarian society and then make up your mind.

I pray that you find the right answer in your conscience and in your heart.


The Boston Globe, Jan. 13, 2000

If Elian returns to Cuba, misery awaits him

Jeff Jacoby, Globe Columnist, 1/13/1999

Elian Gonzalez is not the first Cuban child to arrive in the United States without his parents. From the earliest days of the Castro dictatorship, Cubans have gone to desperate extremes to smuggle their children to freedom. Between December 1960 and October 1962, more than 14,000 unaccompanied Cuban children were sneaked off the island - with their anguished parents' blessings - in an exodus that came to be called ''Operation Peter Pan.'' Many of those parents never saw their children again.

All other things being equal, children belong with their parents. But all other things have not been equal in Cuba since 1959. All other things can never be equal in a country that treats children - by law - as political raw material to be exploited by the state. In the civilized world, parents are entrusted with the freedom of shaping their children's values and guiding their education. But in Castro's Caribbean paradise, parents who try to raise their children according to the dictates of conscience have been punished with impoverishment, imprisonment - and worse.

This is from Article 3 of Law No. 16, Cuba's Code of the Child: ''The communist formation of the young generation is a valued aspiration of the state, the family, the teachers, the political organizations, and the mass organizations that act in order to foster in youth the ideological values of communism.''

And from Article 5: ''Society and the state watch to ascertain that all persons who come in contact with the child ... constitute an example for the development of his communist personality.''

Article 8: ''Society and the state work for the efficient protection of youth against all influences contrary to their communist formation.''

Article 33: ''The state grants special attention to the teaching of Marxism-Leninism due to its importance in the ideological formation and political culture of young students.''

The Code of the Child proceeds like this through dozens of sections. ''The words are very long and boring,'' says Alberto Luzarraga of the New Jersey-based Cuban American Research Group. ''But their meaning is inhuman. They mean that in Cuba, the real parent is the Marxist state.''

If Cuba were a normal country, no one would dispute that Elian would be better off with his father than anywhere else. But Cuba is not a normal country, and if Elian is forced to return, he will not enjoy a normal childhood.

Send Elian back and he will be allowed to live with his father until he is 11; thereafter he will be sent to work in a farm-labor camp for 45 to 60 days per year.

Send Elian back and he will face compulsory military service until he is 27.

Send Elian back and he will be indoctrinated in the glories of ''the revolution'' and taught to regard any Cubans who reject Castroism - including his dead mother - as counterrevolutionaries and traitors.

Send Elian back and he will be allowed to attend college only if his ''political attitude and social conduct'' - to quote the relevant Cuban law - satisfy the regime in Havana.

Cuba occupies a permanent slot on Freedom House's yearly tabulation of the most unfree states in the world. It ranks with the likes of Afghanistan, Burma, North Korea, Syria, and Vietnam as one of the planet's most repressive nations. It is the sort of country that people hurl themselves into the sea by the thousands to escape. How could it be in the best interest of a child who got out of such a wretched place to be forced to go back?

And that is not even to mention the gaping deprivations of Cuban life - the shortages of everything from milk to medicine, the severe rationing of soap and meat, the lack of toothpaste and anesthesia.

A parade of American pundits and editorialists, not to mention the deep thinkers at the Immigration and Naturalization Service, have been arguing in recent weeks that for his own good, Elian belongs in Cuba. But there isn't a one of them who would wish for his own child the misery that awaits Elian if he returns.

In announcing her decision to send Elian back to Cuba, INS Commissioner Doris Meissner declared, ''Family reunification has long been a cornerstone of both American immigration law and INS practice.'' But when the United States reunifies immigrants with their families, it is always by letting the families come in, never by forcing the immigrant out! Mercifully, a Florida judge intervened on Monday, giving emergency custody of Elian to his great uncle until a hearing can be held on granting him asylum.

If Commissioner Meissner seeks a cornerstone on which to base Elian's fate, the one she might focus on is this: For 35 years, US law has offered sanctuary to Cubans who escape Castro's clutches. We have a well-founded presumption that Cubans have good reason to flee their homeland.

If Elian's mother had survived the trip to freedom, no one would have argued that the boy should be sent back. Surely the case for allowing him to to remain is strengthened, not weakened, by the price his mother paid to get him here. To borrow a phrase from another era, Cuba is not healthy for children and other living things. We cannot save every boy and girl from Castro's nightmare. But Elian is here now. Let us at least save him.

Jeff Jacoby is a Globe columnist.

Diario Las Américas, ed. electrónica, 21 de enero de 2000

Declaran víctimas de casos que se equiparan al de Elián

Ariel Remos

Cinco víctimas de la división familiar provocada por el dictador durante 41 años, entre miles de casos, expusieron el suyo ante la prensa en rueda convocada por la congresista Ileana Ros-Lehtinen en sus oficinas del sur de Miami, en la mañana de este viernes.

Arianne Horta, sobrevivió al naufragio del que salvó también milagrosamente la vida el niño Elián, con una hija en Cuba. José Cohen, tiene sus padres, su esposa la doctora Lázara Brito, y sus 3 hijos en Cuba, con visas otorgadas. Manuel Amigó, representado por su señora madre, es residente permanente en Suecia desde 1994, y su esposa e hijos en Cuba, tienen residencia y visas concedidas en Suecia y EE.UU.; Luis Grave de Peralta, es un ex-preso político, representado por Luis Molina; y Sergio Perodin, es sobreviviente del "13 de Marzo" que perdió a su esposa y un hijo. Son cinco de por lo menos 15 casos que ha documentado la institución "Nueva Generación Cuba, Proyecto Misión Elián", que dirige la activista de derechos humanos Bettina Rodríguez Aguilera, y todos enfrentan la negativa del régimen a darle salida a sus hijos u otros familiares, para evitar la reunificación familiar. Cada uno de ellos explicó su caso y se quejó de la crueldad del régimen al querer mantenerlos divididos.

La congresista Ros-Lehtinen, acompañada también por sus colega Lincoln Díaz-Balart, acusó al dictador Castro de hacer de Elián un caso político, aparentando una preocupación que nunca ha tenido, ni por los niños, ni por la unidad de la familia cubana que él ha dividido. "Castro ha demostrado en estos años que es el gran causante de la separación y el sufrimiento de la familia cubana", dijo Ros Lehtinen a DIARIO LAS AMERICAS. Ambos legisladores subrayaron la falsa imagen que cierta prensa internacional está proyectando del dictador, cuando es el responsable directo de la división de la familia. "Los hechos del dictador, son los que hablan, no su retórica ni la propaganda que ha montado a nivel nacional e internacional".

El caso del niño Elián González ha acaparado la atención de la opinión pública mundial, desde que sobrevivió milagrosamente a la muerte de su madre y de su padrastro, cuando naufragó la embarcación en que trataban de alcanzar con el niño y otras 11 personas territorio americano. El niño fue encontrado y salvado el día de Acción de Gracias. La movilización del exilio cubano y la acción de los citados congresistas abogando por que se le den al niño las correspondientes garantías legales y procesales, han impedido su repatriación, de acuerdo con el criterio y el deseo de la Administración, logrando llevar el caso a las cortes, donde se ventila ahora.


Diario Las Américas, ed. electrónica, 18 de Enero, 2000

Fidel Castro secuestró a su hijo hace 40 años

Muestran cartas de Castro en la que se refiere a la retención de su propio hijo en México

MIAMI (EE.UU.) -- Fidel Castro, quien libra una batalla por la repatriación de un niño náufrago de seis años, fue acusado de haber protagonizado un conflicto por la custodia de otro menor, su primer hijo, Fidelito, hace cuatro décadas.

La cadena hispana de televisión "Telemundo", con sede en Miami, entrevistó este lunes, a Orlando de Cárdenas, a quien identificó como un "ex amigo de Castro y que vivió de cerca, en México, el secuestro" de Fidelito, y mostró además unas cartas de Castro en las que se refiere a la retención de su propio hijo.

Castro estuvo casado con Mirta Díaz Balart, de cuyo matrimonio nació Fidelito, pero ella se divorció del gobernante cubano a mediados de los años 50, cuando éste fue detenido y encarcelado en Cuba tras atacar un cuartel militar en la isla caribeña.

Tras el proceso de divorcio, Díaz Balart obtuvo la custodia del menor, y Castro, por su parte, al salir de la prisión se exilió en México, desde donde solicitó a la madre del niño que lo enviara de visita. Una vez Fidelito en México, en 1956, Castro no quiso devolverlo a su madre.

"Telemundo" mostró una carta enviada por Castro a su hermana Liria, el 24 de diciembre de 1956, donde éste señalaba que "porque mi mujer ha demostrado que es incapaz de romper la influencia de su familia, mi hijo puede ser educado en las lamentables ideas contra las que yo lucho", por lo que decidió no enviarlo de regreso a su madre en Cuba.

"Lo estoy dejando con esas personas (en México) que le pueden dar una mejor educación: un matrimonio bueno y generoso que siempre han sido nuestros mejores amigos en el exilio. Le dejo mi hijo, también, a México, para que crezca y se eduque en esta libre y hospitalaria tierra. No debe regresar a Cuba, hasta que sea libre o hasta que pueda luchar porque Cuba sea libre", indica la misiva.

Cárdenas señaló que "estuve al tanto de eso, como estuve al tanto del rescate del niño que fue un domingo por la mañana, cuando lo estaban paseando en el bosque de Chapultepec (México). Un vehículo se atravesó, con gente encargada por Mirta del rescate y se llevaron a Fidelito para la embajada de Cuba".

Así pues, según esta versión, Mirta logró recuperar a su hijo mediante este "secuestro", aunque no queda claro qué ocurrió después, porque, según biógrafos de Castro, Fidelito regresó a Cuba tras el triunfo de la revolución, y luego se fue a estudiar a la ex Unión Soviética y actualmente vive en La Habana con su familia.

La mayoría de los miembros de la familia Díaz Balart emigró a Miami, y uno de los sobrinos de Mirta, Lincoln Díaz Balart, es actualmente congresista republicano por el estado de Florida.

Castro está solicitando al gobierno de Estados Unidos la devolución del niño cubano Elián González, quien sobrevivió a un naufragio en las costas de Florida el pasado noviembre y en el que murieron su madre, su padrastro y nueve cubanos más.

Diario Las Américas, ed. electrónica, 18 de Enero, 2000

Organismos de Derechos Humanos que Sólo se Preocupan por Defender a los Comunistas


A veces resulta irónico observar cómo actúan algunos grupos u organizaciones que dicen defender los derechos humanos en distintos países del mundo, que pueden ser organismos no gubernamentales (ONG) con reconocimiento de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), cuando se trata de analizar, enfrentar o condenar los desmanes y los crímenes comunistas. Y es irónico, porque cuando se trata de denunciar y condenar abusos o crímenes --si es el caso-- cometidos contra los comunistas son de una tenacidad inmensa, de una coordinación global --para usar la palabra de moda-- con repercusiones sostenidas que no caducan. En un momento dado se revive un caso y aparecen organizaciones en cualquier país del mundo protestando, denunciando y condenando lo que no saben a ciencia cierta qué fue.

En el caso del General Augusto Pinochet, por ejemplo, se ve que hay muchos que en el mundo consideran que por la avanzada edad suya y por su complicado y delicado estado de salud, no debe ser llevado desde Londres a España para que se realice allí un juicio acusado de delitos cometidos hace muchos años en Chile. En Chile mismo, partidos y organizaciones que no han sido simpatizadores de Pinochet y que no integraron ese 46% de la población que lo respaldó en el último plebiscito que determinó su salida del poder, han coincidido en opinar que el caso de la salud y de la edad favorecen a Pinochet en estas circunstancias. No se trata de ser solidarios con él, ni cosa parecida. Es cuestión de índole humanitaria. Sin embargo, en Chile, un organismo que se supone que defiende los derechos humanos, en nombre de esos sentimientos humanos, se opone con violencia y virulencia a que se le conceda a Pinochet el beneficio que emana de su avanzada edad y de su delicado estado de salud.

Muchas personas y grupos políticos y sociales del mundo ven con desconfianza algunos movimientos que invocan como misión los "derechos humanos" , porque ven todas esas incongruencias que lo menos que pueden estimular es falta de fe en la sinceridad ideológica y moral de los que se aferran, calculadamente, a la bandera de los derechos humanos para combatir a todos los que luchan o han luchado contra los comunistas.

Desde luego, la credencial de lucha contra el comunismo no autoriza crímenes ni vejaciones contra la dignidad humana. Contra los comunistas agresivos y violentos sí debe haber lucha vigorosa, porque no es lo mismo un comunista que tiene esas convicciones y las explica o las predica que el que a la sombra de ellas mata gente y determina violencia en terribles proyecciones en los países donde el comunismo influye.

Diario Las Américas, Miami, electronic edition, Jan. 18, 2000

Human Rights Organizations Whose Only Concern is to Defend Communists


Sometimes it is ironic to observe the behavior of some groups or organizations who allegedly defend human rights in different countries of the world, that might be non-governmental organizations (NGO) recognized by the United Nations Organization (UNO), when the situation involves analyzing, confronting or condemning the outrages and the crimes of communists. And it is ironic, because when it involves denouncing or condemning abuses or crimes --if that be the case-- against communists, their tenaciousness is enormous, they engage in global --to use the word in vogue-- coordination with constant never-ending repercussions. At any given moment a case is revived and organizations anywhere in the world come up to protest, denounce, and condemn something they actually know very little about.

For example, in the case of General Augusto Pinochet it is obvious that many people all over the world consider that because of his old age and the delicate and complicated condition of his health, he should not be taken from London to Spain to undergo a trial under accusation of crimes committed many years ago in Chile. Even in Chile, parties and organizations that have not been followers of Pinochet and that were not part of that 46% of the voters that backed him in the last plebiscite that determined his departure from power, have coincided with the opinion that his health and age should be taken into consideration in this case. This does not mean that they be on his side, far from it. It is a humanitarian issue. However, in Chile, an organization that supposedly defends human rights, in the name of those humanitarian feelings, is violently and bitterly opposing that Pinochet be granted any benefits because of his age and health conditions.

Many individuals and political and social groups around the world distrust some movements that say their mission is one of "human rights" , because they see all these incongruities that the least they can do is to spur that lack of faith in the ideological and moral honesty of those who, deliberately, cling to the banner of human rights to combat all those who fight or who have fought against the communists.

Of course, the credentials of fighting against communism does not authorize crimes or attempts against human dignity. There should indeed be a strong battle waged against aggressive and violent communists because there is a great difference between a communist who explains or preaches his convictions and the one who using them as an excuse kills people and unleashes terrible acts of violence in the countries where communists have influence.

Cuba distorsiona encuentro de su canciller con el Papa

La Habana, En. 21, 2000 (ACI).- El diario oficialista cubano Granma difundió para consumo interno de la Isla una versión totalmente distorsionada del reciente encuentro del ministro cubano de Relaciones Exteriores, Felipe Pérez Roque, con el Papa Juan Pablo II, en la que implica que la conversación giró exclusivamente en torno al caso del niño balsero Elián González, convertido en un estandarte político de Castro.

Granma dice que "nuestro canciller le expresó (al Papa) su extrañeza de que el Vaticano no hubiese dicho una sola palabra sobre el doloroso e inhumano secuestro en Estados Unidos del niño cubano Elián González'' en la entrevista de 20 minutos que mantuvo con el Sumo Pontífice el pasado lunes.

El tono aparentemente recriminatorio de la conversación según la versión de Granma dista sensiblemente de las declaraciones que el mismo Pérez Roque dio a la prensa internacional el lunes en Roma, donde señaló el tono cordial del diálogo y enunció una larga lista de temas conversados con el Pontífice; evidenciando así que el tema del niño no había tenido cómo extenderse en la breve entrevista.

Granma, que es órgano oficial del Partido Comunista Cubano (PCC), añadió que Juan

Pablo II señaló incluso que él mismo "no conocía absolutamente nada del problema. Nadie se había ocupado de informarle''. Siempre según la versión que el diario preparó para consumo interno, el Papa habría pedido a Pérez Roque que informara del asunto al secretario de Estado del Vaticano, con quien se iba a reunir posteriormente, "para ser debidamente analizado".

El periódico agregó incluso que el asunto de Elián González fue el único abordado

durante la entrevista junto con "la continuidad del riguroso bloqueo económico

de Estados Unidos contra Cuba", cuando tanto Pérez Roque como Joaquín Navarro Valls habían coincidido en señalar el lunes que el diálogo ofreció "la oportunidad de evaluar el desarrollo de las relaciones entre la Iglesia y el Estado en Cuba".

"Al respecto, el ministro ha reafirmado la voluntad de su gobierno de favorecer una colaboración armoniosa y mutua. Por su parte, la Santa Sede ha manifestado el deseo de que la libertad religiosa sea cada vez mayor, en el marco de cuanto afirmó el Santo

Padre durante su histórica visita de enero de 1998", dijo el vocero de la Santa Sede.

"Se ha observado también la convergencia de análisis respecto a los temas de política internacional, además de la necesidad de una solidaridad mayor en favor de los países más pobres", agregó.

La versión de Granma, sin embargo, no sólo omitió el tema de la libertad religiosa

-central en el discurso del Papa-, sino que señaló que "nuestro canciller, con la dignidad que caracteriza a Cuba, no solicitó absolutamente nada de Su Santidad, como no lo hará con ninguno de los jefes de Estado o de Gobierno o cancilleres con los que sostendrá

entrevistas amistosas en Europa".

La agencia italiana ANSA señaló en un despacho firmado por su corresponsal Oscar Madrid que "una alta fuente de la iglesia local reveló que la Nunciatura Apostólica en La Habana envió a principos de diciembre a la Secretaría de Estado del Vaticano 'dos informes oficiales' sobre el caso del niño Elián González, incluyendo las reiteradas declaraciones de Fidel Castro sobre el tema"; demostrando así que, a diferencia de la versión difundida por Granma, tanto el Sumo Pontífice como el Cardenal Secretario de Estado estaban debidamente informados del tema.

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