Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of January 27, 2000

 A Family Portrait,
Meet Luis and Josť Cid, Elian Gonzalez's Miami cousins, just a couple of good old-fashioned American criminals
By Jim DeFede, Robert Andrew Powell, and Lissette Corsa, January 20, 2000

Elian: Crime-Free and Proud of It
Paul E. Czekanski
Miami

In reference to "A Family Portrait" (January 20) by Jim DeFede, Robert Andrew Powell, and Lissette Corsa, the enlightened (joke!) Armando Gutierrez shows us just how in touch he is with this great country when he stated, "In every American family there is always someone who has been in trouble with the law. This is not a criminal family."

Let's have a round of applause for this stunning display of ignorance. First of all Mr. Gutierrez knows nothing about American families, ensconcing himself as he does with the most close-minded extremists in the Cuban exile community. Since when is Miami representative of the rest of this great nation we call the United States of America? Give me a break!

For your information, Mr. Gutierrez, in my own family (both paternal and maternal sides) no one has ever been arrested or in trouble with the law. That goes for most other American families I have known and grown up with throughout my 40 years.

Here you are parading around with this poor little boy, looking more like his jailer than someone who truly cares for his welfare. Elian is probably scared and bewildered beyond all comprehension. God only knows how he feels about the loss of his mother. And now you're denying him his father. And how nice it is to see him consorting with upright individuals such as Luis and José Cid.

Elian: Characters of Suspicious Character
Brian Deagon
via the Internet

I'm glad to see someone is finally looking into the background of Elian's relatives in Miami, as New Times did in "A Family Portrait." The character of the late mother's boyfriend, who piloted the doomed boat, also is suspicious. The only hope the Miami relatives have in keeping Elian in the United States is either to persuade his father to come here and stay or to demonize him as unfit.

If anyone is abusing young Elian, it is his Miami relatives. Shame on them.

Elian: Shame on Ileana
Karen Tuttle
via the Internet

Thank you for the story on the "Miami family" of Elian Gonzalez. These people have claimed that they and only they have a "right" to this child, but who has been investigating them?

What is happening to this country? Have we become a nation that will take a child from a parent simply because we don't like where they live? Well, then, we'd better make room for all those poor children in Russia and China. And who could deny the starving African children? They deserve help too. So I ask Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: Why not just offer mass citizenship to all of them?

Shame on you, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, for your tunnel vision of only Cuban issues. These horrible people you are encouraging are parading around this child like a prized animal. Shame!

Elian: Miss Liberty Speaks (Sotto Voce)
Rich Foley
Rahway, New Jersey

The Statue of Liberty speaks to Elian: Give me your tired (as long as you come by airplane and bring money with you), your poor (as long as you have enough cash to pay off the politicos), your huddled masses yearning to breathe free (as long as your hot breath doesn't get too close to Washington, D.C., and create problems for Clinton and Gore), the wretched refuse of your teeming shore (as long as it's not the shoreline of Cuba). Send these, the homeless tempest-tossed (as long as you don't arrive half-dead by raft), to me. I light my lamp beside the golden door (in order to shine a light on that plane back home to Cuba).

Sorry, Elian. We used to be better than this.

Elian: Just Who Is Controlling Whom Around Here?
Linda Deshetres
Miami

Hats off to you, New Times. Miami television and newspapers can't seem to give the community the facts about corruption and the Cuban exile community. What are local media outlets afraid of? Why is New Times the only one that will give us the facts? Who is controlling the media in Miami-Dade County? Who is controlling Janet Reno in Washington?

The power the Cuban exile community has over this nation's top law officers is frightening. How does that happen?

Elian: Dear Stupid Readers ...
Robert Cannon
Miami

Lisa Edmunds must think all New Times readers are stupid. In her letter to the editor (January 13) she claims those who want Elian Gonzalez to remain in the United States are justified because the boy will have a healthier diet and greater opportunities here. By that rationale we should round up every child in every Third World country, as well as most of Asia and Eastern Europe, and bring them here. And why should children receive special treatment? Let's bring in all the adults, too, because America is the best country with the best standard of living and the best opportunities and, damn it, everyone deserves the best.

Ms. Edmunds insults our intelligence with her hollow excuses for manipulating Elian's unfortunate situation. It's not about health, economic opportunity, or even freedom. This is about politics, and Ms. Edmunds and all others of her ilk should be ashamed for making a six-year-old child their political pawn.

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