Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of January 27, 2000

Martin Lee had it right: If you come to America to make it your home, then become a productive member of the society that has welcomed you with open arms. If your heart and mind still belong to Cuba, then quit playing in traffic and take back your country.

Elian: Climb Aboard the Slut Ship
Martin Alexander

Where will this parasite Spencer Eig be in twelve months? That's an interesting question, given the fact that just a few months ago this icon of freedom was an INS attorney in the deportation cases of many people who were attempting to emigrate to the United States.

Why, he must have become enlightened. Yes, he realized that if he wanted to become a winner in Miami Beach politics, he would need more than the Jewish vote. Elian Gonzalez presented him with the perfect opportunity to pull the wool over a very gullible Cuban electorate. So much for that.

But how can he explain the fact that while he is now the holier-than-thou challenger to the grandmothers of this exploited boy, his wife continues in her capacity as a part-time lawyer at the INS? He can't, which puts him in the same boat with other Miami-Dade political whores like Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, who have taken their pint of blood from this kid and moved on to their next victim.

When will the Cuban electorate in Miami wake up and see they are merely pawns in the daily political circus going on around them? Everyone else in the United States sees them in the center ring, fodder for their elected officials to use and abuse at will.

Elian: In Search of Educated, Professional Cubans
Marisa Siervo
Coral Gables

When I first heard about Elian Gonzalez, I felt sorry for him. It was obvious he would become a tool for any politician in need of a quick fix for re-election, as well as every charitable lawyer wanting to become an overnight celebrity.

The boy's plight has attracted many Cubans who want to use him as a weapon against the government that made them exiles. When their demonstrations turned into road-blocking, violent frenzies, I knew that anyone who had ever hated Cubans to begin with would only hate them more after this. And so people have been asking me: "Why aren't the educated, professional Cubans more vocal about their community?" My answer is that the educated, professional Cubans have no need to get involved in demonstrations that cause chaos and disturb the peace. That is not the way they involve themselves in causes they find worthy. A lot of them think it's a shame Elian's mother died while bringing him to freedom, but if his remaining parent lives in Cuba, then that is probably where the boy should have been sent the minute he recovered from his ordeal, rather than to Disney World.

It is a shame Elian will be raised in a country that has been devastated by a mentally ill man who preaches about a governmental system that has failed in other countries. But we cannot make the boy our son because he is not an orphan. Elian Gonzales has a father.

Elian: Wealthy Atlanta Family Steals Child!
Clarence Johnson
Macon, Georgia

Can you imagine a wealthy family in Atlanta showering your son with gifts, a puppy, and trips to Six Flags, then deciding to keep him because they believe they can provide a better life for him? Does this make you tremble? Can you envision your family on a commando-style raid to get him back? Your rage would be so great that I doubt you would call the police before you and your family troopers headed for Atlanta.

Now let's talk of Castro. Can you imagine a dictator being able to drive at will anywhere in his country in a nonarmored vehicle without a large detachment of security? Castro does. This hasn't been a practical option for an American president since before Lincoln. Over the years I have spoken to many dark-skinned Cuban Americans and the general feeling is that the poor and people of color are better off with Castro than they were under Batista and previous regimes. They fear a return to the old ways by a Cuban-American-controlled government more than they fear life under Castro.

Can you imagine the potential of a country with as much talent as Cuba, a country that has lived through a full embargo by the United States? We even penalize countries that do business with Cuba, and yet Cuba still survives! When does this madness stop? Enough is enough.

Elian: Cuba's Own Toy Story
John Suarez, coordinator
Free Cuba Foundation

Let's pause for a moment in the middle of this media circus surrounding the tragic situation of Elian and look at what life is like for children in Cuba, and the role the Cuban government plays in that.

In Cuba it is almost impossible for families without hard currency to buy toys and gifts for their children. Corriente Martiana, a Cuba-based civic organization, initiated a national and international campaign to collect toys and clothing to be distributed to the neediest children on the Day of the Three Wise Men, which traditionally falls on January 6.

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