* Marlene Victoria Alejandre, "Open letter to all Americans"
* Dr. Alberto Luzárraga, "A la calumnia: contracandela"
* Robert H. Bork, "Castro Fools Even Some Conservatives"
* NewsMax.com, "Media Completely Biased on Elian Gonzalez Story"
* EFE, "Elián le envía una carta a Raúl Castro"
* Wilfredo Cancio Isla, "Pide asilo en Miami un destacado profesor universitario cubano"
Open letter to all Americans
Marlene Victoria Alejandre, Miami
This letter is a bit long but its purpose is to explain why it is so many Cuban Americans still have such strong feelings for Fidel Castro, if not politically, personally. It describes just one of the atrocities Castro has committed against the U.S. recently. If you would like to learn a little before judging emotions, please read this letter. If it reaches you then please pass it on.
On February 24, 1996 two unarmed American civilian Cessnas flying over international waters were blown out of the sky, without warning, by two Cuban fighter jets. On those planes were three American citizens and one resident. My father Armando Alejandre was one of the passengers. He was a naturalized American citizen who voluntarily enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1968 and fought in the Vietnam War.
The planes were on a humanitarian search and rescue mission over the Florida Straits looking for rafters fleeing Castro’s communist dictatorship. Their purpose was to save the lives of those who would rather thrust themselves into shark-infested waters than be
persecuted by the regime in Cuba. At no time did the Cuban planes, which were about 3 times the size of the Cessnas and had all the fighting power possible, ever warn these men that their lives were in danger. They just flew into international airspace and decided that it would be a just act to disintegrate these two defenseless planes with the push of a button. The small propeller planes never had a chance. As they flew away they exclaimed and cheered joyfully, "we got them in the c-----nes." They relished in the fact they had just murdered four innocent men, brothers from their same homeland, something they knew perfectly well. They were delighted at the thought of having ended the lives of four men who posed no danger or threat to them. They took pride in the fact that they killed my father and changed me for the rest of my life.
I have listened to the recording of the terrorist act from the control tower in Opalocka Airport in Florida. I used to cry each time the second silence indicated that my father’s plane had been destroyed and he along with it. I haven’t heard it in a very long time but I remember that the last time I heard it the only emotion I felt was anger and frustration.
Today I feel that same pain when I see the way people are responding to the Elian Gonzalez story. Some feel the way I do that he should have the opportunity to live a free life, others feel the opposite and others are just sick of it and find it to be a good punch
line. I can’t comprehend how any one could want this boy to go back to the repressive life human beings lead in Castro’s Cuba. In Cuba hey aren’t even considered that.
Cuba is year after year denounced as one of the world’s biggest leaders in Human rights violations, most of them murder and imprisonment without cause. They are on the U.S. list of terrorist nations along with Libya and Iran and 4 others. They do not allow people the basic right to speak their minds which we in this country take for granted. Can you imagine if you said a joke about Clinton in public and the police just walked right up to you, beat you and took you to prison for an undetermined period of time. Sadly, this is something that happens in Cuba all the time. People are stolen out of their homes in the middle of the night for having different political views than the government’s and their families never see them again. Their families are kept under surveillance and persecuted by Castro’s thugs day in and day out. Children are indoctrinated into communism from the beginning. In the U.S., I have never seen a 6-year old chanting political view! But I have heard small Cuban children put up on podiums screaming "Long live the Revolution".
My father fought to bring democracy to Cuba. He was a political activist, best known by the elderly Cubans who could not believe the love and passion my father had for the country he left at the age of ten. My father loved the U.S. more than any other country. The U.S. gave him the freedom and respect for humanity he believed all people should be allowed. What drove my father the most was the oppression and abuse of the Cuban people who remained on the island by Castro and his agents. I understood none of this until the day these same people took him away from me.
My father was the funniest, most intelligent, generous and caring men I have ever known. He gave to everyone, friends and strangers alike, even when he did not have enough for himself. I was his only child and his only little girl. The day he died I was away at school and didn’t even know he was going up the air. It was only his second trip. The Brothers to the Rescue normally rejected him because he took up too much room on the planes, he was 6 feet and 7 inches tall. Luckily I had seen him the weekend before, and I thank God for that. I couldn’t believe it when my best friend sat me down and said my father had been shot down in a plane and they didn’t know what happened to him. I didn’t know what to feel or what to think. That night I did not sleep and arrived in Miami the next day with my eyes so swollen I could barely see. I figured they would find him floating in the ocean - it was only a matter of time.
That afternoon I went to a briefing with the Coast Guard with some of my family, my mother couldn’t even leave my house from the shock. The men said they would continue searching until that evening but they were pretty sure they would find nothing. They had only found a bright orange marker, a device fighter jets drop into the ocean to mark where their target falls.
I learned a missile was used and it was so powerful it just disintegrated everything upon impact. After I was taken to a church in Miami that is the spiritual center for Cubans living here, La Hermita de la Caridad, the patron saint of Cuba. I had never seen so many people in my life. They were inside, outside, screaming, crying, some even carrying pictures of my father. I knew that was it, he was gone, but I had no idea what I was in for. That was the day my life was turned upside down and I was changed forever.
I now knew why my father felt the way he did about Cuba. I finally experienced what so many before me had at the hands of Fidel Castro. I now knew what it took to have that emotion and passion inside of you. I now knew what drove people to cry when they sang Cuba’s national anthem. I learned it and now cry when I sing it too. There is a line from it which says, "Morir por la Patria es vivir". This means, "to die for one’s country is to live", this was inscribed on the remembrance cards that were handed out at the funeral to the guests. At least I know that is true. My father died in the most honorable way possible to man, dying to save your homeland. The men who killed him are the cowards who had to use the power of guns to fight a message of hope and love.
The very day of my father’s funeral I testified before Congress, a couple months later I went to the Human Rights Commission in Geneva to speak out on the atrocity which had been committed. I faced the very men who are part of Castro’s government. I sat in a room 5 feet away from them, they knew who I was. I was the 18-year-old daughter whose father they murdered in cold blood. They looked at me and said things about us. Whenever they stared at me I stared right back. They were always hanging around. They tried to scare me, it didn’t work. My dad was with me and he wouldn’t let them hurt me. These were people I had been warned about, they used to carry guns into the Human Rights Commission. I was not scared, I was there to let the world know what they had done and that they had to be stopped.
Since then every major international organization and Congress has declared the act a terrorist act and denounced the government of Cuba for its blatant murder of American citizens in international waters. The only organization which has not done so, has been the Clinton administration. Bill Clinton shook my hand on two occasions and pitied me, or so I thought. He told us this would not go unpunished, this murder of American citizens was unforgivable. Today he is the only thing standing in the way of justice for my father’s murder.
There is an ongoing investigation by the FBI, only they can file criminal charges. The government passed a law which allows the families of American citizens murdered by terrorist countries to file a civil suit against that nation. We won, Cuba never even came to its defense. The judge found the act so horrific he tripled the punitive damages we had originally asked for. When the collection of the judgement began, Cuba finally got involved. They only cared when it came down to their money. We got them where we knew it would hurt. Still today we have not been able to collect and punish the perpetrators of this crime.
I’ve had to endure many things since my father’s death. I have even had to sit in a courtroom with my own government at the table opposite me, fighting for Cuba’s money. It hurts when I see the country my father risked his life for at 18 years old, fighting to protect the people who killed him and three other innocent men.
All we want is justice for our loss. No amount of money , not even the punishment of those directly responsible will fix what happened. I no longer have the person who I made my world a better place to live in. He made my life funnier, he made me smarter he was the only man in mine and my mother’s lives. I feel like my life will never reach the potential it was supposed to. I will never be what I was supposed to be because he is not here to help me get there. My aunts have lost their brother, my cousins their uncle, and my grandparents their only son. Others were robbed of the chance to meet him and learn how just knowing him made life a little better. My children will never meet him. I will walk down the aisle at my wedding alone. Worst of all, my mother is alone, her soul mate gone. Fidel Castro’s dictatorship did all this to one family. Now multiply that by millions and you may begin to see a glimpse of the damage he has done since he robbed Cuba from its people 41 years ago.
I write all this and maybe go on too long because the things I have to say are endless. This is something that helps me to cope with the fact that I have not seen my father in over 4 years. If just one person realizes by reading this letter s that Castro, who sits only 90 miles away, is this evil and cruel, calculating and manipulative, murderous and callous. He does not care about Elian and Juan Miguel. He will take Elian and turn him into a puppet of the revolution. He will force Elian to denounce his mother and the U.S. This is because he despises America and the freedom it stands for. It hurts me to see Americans who visit Cuba and defend Castro, when he is all the while laughing at the fact that those he considers enemies are praising him. If you believe his father is speaking freely, you need to know that since Juan Miguel came to this country the rest of his family has been under house arrest in an undisclosed location by the Cuban government.
This is what Elian Gonzalez is going back to. If you want to blind yourself to the truth so be it, but realize you are doing it at the expense of a little boy.
Marlene Victoria Alejandre
P.S. Lastly, please do not ridicule Cuban-Americans for demonstrating. Other groups have done far worse things to get their point across. Don’t tell them to "get over it" as I have heard some say. The wounds are still raw, it has only been 40 years. Would you say the same to the people in South Carolina who are fighting to remove what they believe is a symbol of hatred from over so many more years ago?
Revista Guaracabuya, Internet, mayo de 2000
A la calumnia: contracandela
Este es un artículo para cubanos. Pero tiene un objetivo que trasciende a
sus lectores. Pretendo animarlos a expandir sistemáticamente nuestro ámbito
de acción en cuanto al caso de Cuba. El caso Elián ha demostrado hasta la
saciedad cuan poco se sabe de Cuba y como los comunistas se especializan en
una sola cosa: vender su versión falsa del pasado y el presente. En
definitiva, mentir es lo único que hace bien el sistema.
También resulta claro que en buena parte los medios de comunicación masivos
son instrumentos de los que quieren aprovecharse una vez más de Cuba. Tampoco
es un asunto nuevo en nuestra sufrida y violenta historia de pequeño país
estratégicamente situado. El ataque es tan similar en contenido que
obviamente obedece a una tendencia y consigna. Ver el excelente reporte de
Media Research donde se citan las sandeces y sus fuentes:
Francamente lo que digan los Dan Blathers, Brian Dumb-bells y comparsa me
tiene bastante sin cuidado en cuanto a sus opiniones personales. En buena
parte repiten lo que les soplan al oído sus productores. Por eso se pasan
tanto tiempo ajustándose el microfonito en la oreja. No son gran cosa en
materia de inteligencia. Es todo imagen.
Por eso no hay incomodarse con que no nos quiera esa gente. No son ellos, son
sus amos los que ordenan una campaña cuando así conviene. La alianza
oportunista de la izquierda con una derecha sin escrúpulos es una constante
del siglo XX. Hitler dijo que no encontró mejores reclutas que los
ex-comunistas y Lenin nos recordó que los capitalistas le venderían la soga
con que ahorcarlos.
Todo esto hay que entenderlo y no resentirlo. Hay gente muy buena y muy
asombrada de que "figuras" del mundo de las noticias los traten tan mal.
Gente noble y herida del exilio. Me permito por excepción una grosería. El
muy apropiado consejo y dicharacho cubiche: c.... en la noticia.
Y es que hay que funcionar con desaprensión frente a este elemento
minoritario y fanfarrón. No queda otra: si ellos tienen parte de los medios
de comunicación masivos hay que ser agresivos para contrarrestar. Lo primero
a entender es que son una minoría que quiere imponer su punto de vista y su
política pero no tienen número en cuanto a los convencidos. Si tuvieran el
número ya nos tendrían "integrados."
Los que piensan como nosotros o que pueden ser potencialmente aliados son
muchos más. ¿Pero, como llegarles si los medios masivos son controlados en
buena parte por este tipo de gente?
Hay diversos medios a nuestro alcance pero toquemos primero los requisitos
esenciales para tener impacto: PERSISTENCIA y VOCACION de actuar en la medida
de nuestras fuerzas y posibilidades. Ningún esfuerzo es despreciable. Si
usted lo que puede hacer es convencer a cinco personas sepa que ha hecho
mucho. Todos los movimientos empezaron así.
¿Que significa vocación? Significa que queramos que no, a los cubanos en este
país nos ha tocado el papel de defensores de la libertad, la constitución, el
estado de derecho y las garantías fundamentales que consagraron los genios
políticos que fundaron esta nación hace casi doscientos cincuenta años.
Es una bella vocación y tenemos que aceptar el reto en la seguridad de que si
enfocamos el contraataque por esa vía nos van a salir aliados por todas
partes. Ya lo vemos ocurrir en el caso de muchas figuras de la prensa como
George Wills, Robert Novak, el Wall Street Journal, Judicial Watch etc. Y en
el plano personal es preciso recordar que esta democracia (la más antigua del
mundo) llevaba casi 200 años de funcionamiento antes de que llegáramos
nosotros y que hay infinidad de norteamericanos nativos muy comprometidos con
la causa de la libertad.
Y por ahí hay que ir. Castro y su régimen son malos porque van en contra de
todos los principios básicos de este país, por que existen a 90 millas de
distancia y porque es la única dictadura que queda en América. Y tiene que
cambiar. No se trata de embargos. Se trata de libertad . Y si Castro no
quiere embargo que dé libertad. El discurso con el americano no informado
tiene que empezar por ahí. Así de simple. Una vez sentada la premisa es mucho
más fácil debatir el medio de lograr el objetivo y su idoneidad. Lo que no
funciona es quejarse y no aportar datos ni picarle el interés a la gente
preocupada con otras cosas.
Al ciudadano americano nativo que no sabe nada de Cuba y que razona que la
guerra fría ya acabó hay que proponerle temas de actualidad.
Ejemplos de temas que interesan:---- un paralelo entre la educación en Cuba (
la manipulación total ) y la manipulación de la opinión pública en las
democracias occidentales (manipulación parcial) y adonde puede conducir;---un
paralelo entre la concentración absoluta del poder en el estado comunista y
en la tendencia similar en el mundo occidental contra la que se opusieron los
fundadores de los Estados Unidos al dividir el poder;---un paralelo entre la
ignorancia ciudadana de la cívica que nos trajo a Castro en Cuba y la
tendencia similar en las democracias durante períodos de bonanza y falta de
Hay infinidad de temas pero hay que tratarlos como ciudadanos preocupados con
lo que ocurre aquí y no como exiliados molestos. Se trata de mantener la
libertad lograda por los fundadores de este país. Castro debe ser un ejemplo
de lo que no hay que hacer y de las consecuencias de hacerlo. Y sin decir más
se ataca a Castro devastadoramente.
Es exactamente el reverso de la propaganda socialista en Estados Unidos que
constantemente presenta el mito de la educación y el cuidado médico. Temas
por cierto fácilmente rebatibles con un simple dato: llevamos 40 años
mandando medicinas a Cuba y una pregunta: ¿le gustaría a usted que un "culto"
le "educara" a su hijo?
¿Donde ir y cómo ? Primero, hay que hacerlo en inglés y él que no lo domine
que intente convencer a la infinidad de nacionales de otros países de habla
hispana que son inmigrantes.
El que domine el inglés tiene muchas oportunidades abiertas. Primero con
amigos, suministrándoles artículos de publicaciones prestigiosas. Completando
la información, respondiendo preguntas y teniendo paciencia y perseverancia.
Algunos responden y otros no. Pero hay que hacer la gestión. Muchos
compatriotas tienen acceso a publicaciones profesionales donde pueden
escribir y someter artículos que tengan relación con Cuba y la profesión. En
ciertos casos hay publicaciones que simplemente aceptan artículos de interés
humano. Y ésto incluye la prensa escrita.
Y ni hablar del maravilloso medio del internet que esta dando al traste con
los monopolios de la información. El radio es también un vehículo excelente
y se puede acceder a él en forma relativamente fácil, bien como invitado o
simple oyente que llama a dar un opinión. Y en fin hasta las cadenas que nos
atacan de vez en cuando por quedar bien permiten alguna intervención.
Lo importante es no quedarse callado, ni deprimido, ni inerte, ni echarle la
culpa a que "no se hace bastante." Si usted no hace nada pertenece al grupo
que critica. Si hay 2 millones de cubanos y sus descendientes en el exilio y
movilizamos una parte importante de ese exilio en labor de propaganda el
efecto será notable. Lo ha sido durante el caso Elián. Se ha producido mucho
y bueno. El asunto es no dejar ningún esfuerzo sin hacer.
Salga como salga el asunto Elián, hay que seguir. Por nosotros que no quede.
Hagámosle la vida aun más complicada a los comunistas, pobres diablos en fin,
que viven temiendo y odiando, sin futuro ni esperanza mas allá de su última
Ah, y se me olvidaba. No me digan que no tienen tiempo. Si no tienen tiempo
de defenderse entonces tendrán tiempo para aguantarse.
¡Animo y adelante!
The Wall Street Journal, June 5, 2000
Castro Fools Even Some Conservatives
Robert H. Bork
Mr. Bork, a former federal judge, is a senior fellow at
the American Enterprise Institute.
If anything good came out of the appellate court's decision that the
Immigration and Naturalization Service had the authority to deny Elian
Gonzalez's petition for asylum, it was that the court performed its
constitutional duty admirably. In the process, it revealed that Bill Clinton
and Janet Reno have been lying steadily about their role in this case, and
debunked some of the fallacious arguments that seem to underlie the
widespread support (even among conservatives) for sending Elian back to
The relevant statute provides that "any alien" present in this country "may
apply for asylum." But as the court correctly pointed out, the statute left
it to the INS to decide "whether a six-year-old child has applied for asylum
within the meaning of the statute when he, or a non-parental relative on his
behalf, signs and submits a purported application against the express wishes
of the child's parent."
The court also emphasized repeatedly that the INS could have chosen other
policies: "It has been suggested that the precise policy adopted by the INS
in this case was required by 'law.' That characterization of this case,
however, is inaccurate. . . . When the INS made its pertinent policy, the
preexisting law said nothing about the validity of asylum application." So
much for the Clinton administration's false and self-serving claims that it
was merely enforcing the law.
As for the general public, it quite rightly supports law enforcement. But
what was enforced here was, at best, Mr. Clinton's disguised policy choice
and, at worst, his propensity to appease left-wing dictators. Nor does the
unprovoked brutality of the middle-of-the-night raid seem to bother many
people. However flimsy the fear that the officers might meet armed
resistance, there was no reason to use pepper spray on the crowd and to
knock down a press photographer outside the house.
Conservatives favor what they call "family values." Rep. Steve Largent (R.,
Okla.) refers to "a little boy who has lost his mother and desperately needs
his father," and to the importance of "daddies" to six-year-old boys. He
asks rhetorically, "How would the United States react if its role and Cuba's were
reversed?" The question assumes the moral equivalence of Cuba and the U.S.
They are not equivalent; and even if it sheltered Elian, the U.S. would be
entirely justified in demanding that an American boy be returned from that
Caribbean hell hole.
It seems clear that Elian will not be raised by a loving "daddy" but by a
brutal state. I hope we would have no hesitation in putting the welfare of
the child before "family values" if the alternative were to send him back to
a father in Hitler's Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union. Fidel Castro's Cuba
is about on a moral level with those states.
Sen. Chuck Hagel (R., Neb.), who also favors returning Elian to Cuba,
correctly notes that this is "about a young boy, his father and his future."
But that formula doesn't answer the question of return. A New York Post
editorial insists, without weighing the alternative, that "a motherless
6-year-old boy belongs with his father."
Mark Steyn isn't as funny as usual when he writes that "in essence what the
conservative press dislikes about Juan Miguel is this: he has seemingly not
the slightest desire to live in America." Mr. Steyn goes on to justify
Elian's father's attitude by references to some squalid Florida strip malls
and Elian's immersion in "a world of ever-swelling legal teams, opportunist
shrinks, pandering pols, hovering showbiz agents, TV grotesques,
dysfunctional cousins and all the Disney merchandising the kid can stand up
All very clever and all entirely irrelevant. I don't know a single
conservative who is offended by Juan Miguel's desire to go back to Cuba, and
nobody supposes that were Elian allowed to stay here, he would remain
immersed in the world of Mr. Steyn's overwrought description. He certainly
will be immersed in Castro's triumphal propaganda events. We will probably
soon see a reindoctrinated Elian denouncing America's attempt to "kidnap"
him. The issue is not Juan Miguel's preference, but the good of Elian. It is
impossible to deny that he would lead a far more fulfilled life in Miami
than is possible in Havana.
The appellate court's opinion, after all, noted Cuba's abysmal human-rights
record and also that "re-education, communist indoctrination, and political
manipulation for propaganda purposes, upon a return to Cuba, are not beyond
the realm of possibility." (It might be more accurate to say that they are a
certainty.) Indeed, the court continues, "some reasonable people might say
that a child in the United States inherently has a substantial conflict of
interest with a parent residing in a totalitarian state when the parent --
even when he is not coerced -- demands that the child leave this country to
return to a country with little respect for human rights and basic
Only the INS's allowable discretion in forming policy got it past this
Elian's Miami family and the community that supports them elicit little
sympathy from liberals and their press. Probably that is because these
immigrants do not fit the liberal view of a proper minority. The Miami
Cubans fled communism, made good in the U.S. without the government's
paternalistic care, don't continually complain about discrimination, and, most
important ... vote Republican.
The fact is, however, that the Miami family has shown itself concerned for
Elian's welfare. The main difference in this case, pace Mr. Steyn, is
between a messy, democratic America and an orderly (because regimented) and
totalitarian Cuba. That is the distinction that should be decisive for
conservatives, and anyone who really cares about child welfare and "family
NewsMax.com, May 26, 2000
Media Completely Biased on Elian Gonzalez Story
In a hard-hitting expose of media groveling before Fidel Castro and his
toadies in the U.S. government, in a just-released report, the Media
Research Council (MRC) has cited dozens of examples of media bias favoring Castro,
Reno and Clinton during the Elian Gonzalez controversy.
The MRC Special Report, Back to the 'Peaceable' Paradise: Media Soldiers for
the Seizure of Elian, recalled such outrageous pro-Castro propaganda
statements as this New York Times headline on April 10: "Communism Still
Looms as Evil to Miami Cubans." The headline moved MRC to comment,
"Apparently, it’s not evil any more at The New York Times."
Even wilder was Newsweek’s Clinton-worshipping Eleanor Clift’s comment on
the April 8 edition of The McLaughlin Group: "To be a poor child in Cuba may
in many instances be better than being a poor child in Miami, and I’m not
going to condemn their lifestyle so gratuitously."
MRC adds that she later topped even that monstrosity: "On May 1, Clift was
asked on Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor to defend her "lifestyle" remarks. She
retracted nothing: ‘I can understand why a rational, loving father can
believe that his child will be protected in a state where he doesn’t have to
worry about going to school and being shot at, where drugs are not a big
problem, where he has access to free medical care and where the literacy
rate I believe is higher than this country’s.’ "
MRC zeroed in on the media’s demonization of Miami’s Cuban exile community,
a group that has the temerity to oppose Castro’s brutal communist
dictatorship, which drove them from their homeland.
"In the end, the drama may reveal how fed up both societies are with the
‘Dr. Strangelove’ hysteria of U.S.-Cuba relations," declared Time Miami
correspondent Tim Padgett.
NBC reporter Jim Avila was perplexed by Elian’s mother’s attempt to escape
communist tyranny in Cuba and seek a better life for herself and her son in
the U.S. "Why did she [Elian’s mother] do it? What was she escaping?’ Avila
asked. By all accounts this quiet, serious young woman, who loved to dance
the salsa, was living the good life, as good as it gets for a citizen in
"Avila concluded that she’d made a terrible mistake in leaving: ‘An extended
family destroyed by a mother’s decision to start a new life in a new
country, a decision that now leaves a little boy estranged from his father and
forever separated from her.’ "
The media giddily rejoiced in pinning the label of "Banana Republic" on
Miami, typifying the oh-so-superior attitude struck by these yuppified
dandies whenever they encounter average Americans in communities not blessed
with the sophistication of New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
"Time’s Tim Padgett began his April 17 article with insults: ‘The ‘banana
republic’ label sticking to Miami in the final throes of the Elian Gonzalez
crisis is a source of snide humor for most Americans. But many younger Cuban
Americans are getting tired of the hard-line anti-Castro operatives who have
helped manufacture that stereotype — especially the privileged, imperious
elite who set themselves up as a pueblo sufrido, a suffering people, as
martyred as black slaves and Holocaust Jews, but ever ready to jump on
expensive speedboats to reclaim huge family estates the moment the old
communist dictator stops breathing.’ "
"NBC’s Katie Couric championed the spin control of "some" people who wanted
to suggest Miami was as tyrannical as Cuba, opening the April 3 Today: "Some
suggested over the weekend that it’s wrong to expect Elian Gonzalez to live
in a place that tolerates no dissent or freedom of political expression.
They were talking about Miami. All eyes on south Florida and its image this
morning. Another writer this weekend called it ‘an out-of-control banana
republic within America.’ What effect is the Elian Gonzalez story having on
perception of Miami? We will talk with a well-known columnist for The Miami
Herald about that."
MRC caught this beauty from the Chicago Tribune’s James Warren, who in most
instances easily captures first prize in the sneering media contest. Seeing
a gun pointed at Elian upset him only because of the fact it would "incite the
crazies" - you know, folks who don’t think jack-booted federal thugs should
point automatic weapons at 6-year-old kids.
"Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau Chief James Warren told the April 24
Washington Post that ‘Given the potency of television, that [AP photo of the
gun in Elian’s face] could be the lingering image, and it’s a powerful one.
... It will ignite all the crazies. ... The focus on the Miami relatives and
the Reno-bashers really grotesquely distorts the public response to this
whole matter.’ He complained the Miami family didn’t have a newsworthy case:
‘I’m not going to pitch [for a Page 1 story] the crazy family running around
here all day and bitching on television, but it’s going to be all over CNN
and MSNBC and Fox.’ "
From the "Cuba, the jewel of the Caribbean - America, the home of the
ignorant redneck" department:
ABC’s Cynthia McFadden got a mention for reporting from Havana during ABC’s
live 24-hour coverage of the New Year 2000. "Part of what the children
talked about was their fear of the United States and how they felt they didn’t want
to come to the United States because it was a place where they kidnap
children, a direct reference, of course, to Elian Gonzalez. The children
also said that the United States was just a place where there was money and money
wasn’t what was most important.
"I should mention Peter that, you know, as you talk about the global
community, Cuba is a place because of the small number of computers here —
in the classrooms we visited yesterday there was certainly no computers and
almost no paper that we could see — this is a place where the children’s
role models and their idols are not the baseball players or Madonna or pop
stars. Their role models are engineers and teachers and librarians — which
is who all the children we spoke to yesterday said they wanted to be."
"It’s the educational wonder of Latin America, but it doesn’t have any
paper?" MRC asked.
"Peter Jennings followed up McFadden by helpfully passing along more
pro-Castro propaganda: "From the Cuban point of view, as everybody knows, I
guess, education and participation in the Third World are very much what
Cuba has stood for, at least in the developing world."
Jennings made no mention that Castro and company are pretty good at jailing
dissidents and machine-gunning women and children trying to escape in boats,
Reno’s raid was a big hit for the useful idiots brigade:
"Dan Rather declared just hours after the raid that Janet Reno shouldn’t be
criticized: "It’s hard to see how she gets criticized for the way the
operation was carried out. Yes, you can say, well, the marshals should not
have been ... armed that heavily. Put all that in quotation marks. But in
the end it worked. The child was gotten out safely."
"That same morning, Rather made it sound like the Associated Press
photographer was more frightening to the boy than the INS gunmen, or at
least the boy should be frightened in private: "If the photographer was in the
house legally, which knowing the Associated Press would be very surprising
if he wasn’t, there is the question of the privacy, beginning with the privacy
of the child. No one can look at these photographs and not think what this
child is going through."
New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who began the Clinton years as a
White House correspondent, provocatively proclaimed on April 25: "Yup, I
gotta confess, that now-famous picture of a U.S. marshal in Miami pointing
an automatic weapon toward Donato Dalrymple and ordering him in the name of the
U.S. government to turn over Elian Gonzalez warmed my heart. They should put
that picture up in every visa line in every U.S. consulate around the world,
with a caption that reads: ‘America is a country where the rule of law
This picture illustrates what happens to those who defy the rule of law and
how far our government and people will go to preserve it. Come all ye who
Three days later, on PBS’s Washington Week in Review, Friedman boasted: "You
know, I just came from a trip from Venezuela to Bogota, Colombia to Moscow.
I got to tell you, what people in Bogota, Colombia would give for five minutes
of Janet Reno. What people in Russia today in these lawless, no-rule-of-law
societies would give for five minutes of Janet Reno."
Time’s "Winners and Losers" box called Reno a winner in the May 15 issue:
"A.G. clears Puerto Rican protesters without a shot. Now just get the kid
back to Cuba."
El Nuevo Herald, Miami, 4 de junio de 2000
Elián le envía una carta a Raúl Castro
EFE, La Habana
Elián González, su padre, familiares y compañeros de clase que se encuentran en Estados Unidos, enviaron ayer una carta de felicitación al ministro de Defensa, Raúl Castro, hermano del gobernante cubano, por su sesenta y nueve cumpleaños.
``Querido Raúl, en estos momentos cuando estamos enfrascados en el regreso de Eliancito a su bella Cuba, no queríamos dejar de enviar un sencillo, pero sincero, mensaje de felicitación en su cumpleaños'', dice la carta, que fue dada a conocer ayer por la TV local.
``No descansaremos en nuestra lucha por el retorno a la patria inspirado en el ejemplo de nuestro pueblo, que junto a usted y nuestro querido Comandante en Jefe, nos alienta cada día'', añade.
``Reciba en nombre de Elián, de sus compañeritos y toda la familia cubana que me acompañan el abrazo de este pedacito de Cuba que hemos mantenido y mantendremos vivo en este país mientras sea necesario'', dice la carta.
``Muchas felicidades le deseamos'' en el cumpleaños, concluye la carta, que lleva la firma de todos ellos.
Raúl, hermano del líder Fidel Castro, presidió hoy una ``Tribuna Abierta'' que fue realizada en la localidad oriental de Banes, en la que más de 70,000 personas exigieron el regreso a la isla del niño Elián.
El Nuevo Herald, 5 de junio de 2000
Pide asilo en Miami un destacado profesor universitario cubano
Wilfredo Cancio Isla
La gente en Cuba se está preparando con sentido pragmático para la era postcastrista, desde el ciudadano común hasta los altos funcionarios del gobierno, afirmó en Miami el profesor y ensayista cubano Emilio Ichikawa.
``Todo el mundo se está preparando de diferentes maneras para cuando se muera Fidel Castro: unos guardando dinero en el extranjero o comprando obras de arte; otros adquiriendo propiedades inmuebles, concertando matrimonios convenientes, o simplemente conservando los puestos'', explicó Ichikawa, de 37 años.
Considerado como una figura prominente entre los jóvenes intelectuales de la isla, Ichikawa viajó a comienzos de este año para cumplir compromisos académicos en universidades de Nueva York y decidió solicitar asilo político.
Es el segundo visitante de la isla que anuncia su deserción en menos de una semana. El pasado jueves, Juan Fernández Zurita, de 27 años, bajista de la Orquesta de Pachito Alonso y sus Kini-Kini, informó públicamente su deseo de asilarse.
``Para alguien que trata de pensar y hablar de filosofía política es un peligro real permanecer hoy en Cuba'', dijo. ``Mis ideas estaban tocando un límite bastante riesgoso y ya había tenido advertencias claras después de la Ley de la Dignidad y la Soberanía Nacional [aprobada por el parlamento cubano en 1997]''.
Según él, la llamada ``ley mordaza'' legitimó cualquier acción contra un periodista o intelectual que publique críticas en el extranjero contra la revolución castrista. Los transgresores son calificados como ``traidores a la patria'' y pueden ir a prisión hasta por diez años.
En 1998 Ichikawa publicó un ensayo en la revista Encuentro, que edita en España el escritor Jesús Díaz, en el cual reflexionaba sobre las variantes de una posible transición en Cuba.
Hijo de un inmigrante japonés y una cubana, Ichikawa fue durante once años profesor de la Universidad de La Habana (1985-1996). Luego realizó estudios de Filosofía Política en España y regresó a Cuba, donde trabajó como especialista literario en la Biblioteca Nacional Jose Martí. Es autor de los libros de ensayo El pensamiento agónico (1996) y La escritura y el límite (1998).
Su salida de Cuba se produjo el pasado febrero, en plena agitación propagandística interna para el regreso del niño Elián González. ``Lo más triste del caso Elián es que Fidel Castro ni siquiera permite que exista, con sanidad e inocencia, un valor natural como es la pertenencia de un hijo a su padre... En cambio, ha logrado que una reivindicación genuina se traduzca como apoyo político a su régimen, y eso tiene a la gente allá muy confundida'', dijo.
Ichikawa opinó que como dinámica de masas, las marchas por Elián no representan ninguna innovación respecto a otras movilizaciones similares en la isla. ``Lo único curioso es que se ha utilizado para promover a ciertos jóvenes hiper-radicales y vociferantes como Hassan Pérez [presidente de la Federación Estudiantil Universitaria] y Otto Rivero [secretario de la Juventud Comunista], que frente a Castro resultarían una alternativa menos deseable para la tranquilidad política de la región'', añadió.
``Esta idea maquiavélica de Fidel Castro ha sido puesta en práctica con toda intención. No hay ningún error de cálculo'', enfatizó Ichikawa.
El futuro de Cuba lo ve como ``una mezcla de renovaciones y pactos donde probablemente pierdan los que siempre han perdido: los de abajo''. ``En más de 40 años, el castrismo ha creado una tradición en la sociedad cubana, es decir, reflejos a la costumbre que se proyectarán en el futuro'', dijo el ensayista, que ve a Miami como un laboratorio para pensar ``las fronteras de la cubanidad''.
``Miami es una posibilidad política cubana en un contexto democrático'', señaló. ``Una zona de frontera cultural, al decir de Jorge Mañach [1898-1961], donde la convergencia presupone una diferencia''.
Para el historiador cubano Rafael Rojas, profesor del Colegio de México, Ichikawa es el joven ensayista cubano de mayor cultura filosófica. ``Esa cualidad lo conecta con la gran tradición del ensayo filosófico cubano... Sus textos son literatura de ideas'', consideró Rojas.