April 28, 2001: Newsgroups soc.culture.canada, soc.culture.cuba, soc.culture.hongkong, soc.culture.latin-america, soc.culture.usa

Elian: a special child, an event

and the outcome of the

2000 presidential election

April 22, 2001 marked the first anniversary of the raid that was carried on by INS agents on Elián González’ home in Miami.

Whether you agree or not with the whole issue, one thing is certain:

The child was rescued on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1999. He was protected by dolphins (mammals) from shark-infested waters. The child told of a vision of a lady at sea, and identified her a few days later when a statue of our Lady of Fátima was taken to his house. After someone asked Elián if he prayed to somebody while at sea, the Cuban boy said, yes, to his Guardian Angel, and went on to recite the prayer of the Guardian Angel in Spanish that his mother had taught him:

Angel de la Guarda / Dulce compañía / No me desampares / Ni de noche, ni de día…

In English goes like this:

Guardian Angel / Sweet Company / Do Not Forsake Me / Neither At Nighttime Or At Daytime…

Finally he was taken from his home in a very violent way, on Holy Saturday, not even respecting one of the most sacred days of the Christian religion, specially meaningful to the mostly Catholic Cuban-American community, given that Bill Clinton called for a moratorium while bombing Iraq at the onset of Ramadan, the Islamic period of religious fasting.

It is well known by political writers and analysts, that George W. Bush won the 2000 election thanks to the Cuban-American vote. For many months before the elections, Florida was recognized as a key state. "Whoever wins Florida, wins the election," many analysts wrote. In 1996, Bill Clinton won Miami-Dade County by 117,000 votes. Gore won Miami-Dade County in 2000, by only 39,000 votes. The difference was "el voto castigo,"(the penalty vote), as it was known in the Cuban-American community, because the way the Democratic Administration treated the Elián issue. Unlike the African-American community which mostly always vote "in block" over 90% for the Democrats, the Cuban-Americans voted 60% for Republicans and 40% for Democrats, as it was with Clinton in 1996. This time, the vote was 82% for the Republican candidate, and only 18% for Gore. This was definitely the difference, as president Bush won the elections by less than one thousand votes!

Was it because the previous Administration violated a most Holy Christian Day?

Or was it because Elián was such a special child?

Whatever the reason, the writing was on the wall, from above, and many people failed to recognize it. God has many different ways of working.

The Elián saga was never about a father and his son.

Enrique J. Canton M.D., FAAP

Coral Gables, Fl. 33134