According to Granma

Threats and Violence Lead to Tragedy

Let us move on to the facts we wish to state.

From the very first days after the kidnapping of the child, the revolutionary authorities have undertaken a concerted effort to investigate and seek out precise information and data on essential features of this case, as well as gathering news related to the individuals and families who are in some way or another involved in or victims of this episode.

In the first place, after receiving letters on November 27 and 28 requesting the government's support through the Ministry of Foreign Relations, signed by the father and maternal grandmother of young Elián González Brotons, who was not even six years old yet, and was being illegally detained in the United States, action was immediately taken to investigate, as is only logical, the identity of the father, the only person eligible for paternal rights.

According to Granma, frustrated desires for a child led Juan Miguel Gonzalez (above) and Elizabeth to divorce
AP/Wide World Photo
According to Granma, frustrated desires for a child led Juan Miguel Gonzalez (above) and Elizabeth to divorce
According to Granma, Elizabeth Brotons (above with Elian) was "resigned, docile, and almost certainly terrified"
Corbis Sygma
According to Granma, Elizabeth Brotons (above with Elian) was "resigned, docile, and almost certainly terrified"

Information was sought out on the degree of his attachment to the child, his care for him, his relations with the maternal and paternal grandparents, his social and moral conduct, his personal character, the degree of affection he showed for the child, and all the other elements that it was necessary to learn about before the country would undertake a struggle that could not be based on the illusion that a Florida judge would rule in favor of a Cuban claim, which has never happened in over 40 years of Revolution. Blockade, crimes, and aggression are the only things our people have received from there. The only alternative was to wage a battle of national and international public opinion for the child's return as could only be based on the soundest legal and moral foundations.

As fate would have it, in this particular case, we not only had a good father, honest, sincere father who fulfilled his obligations to the child, but rather an exceptionally good father, one extremely attached to his son who was the victim of an atrocious crime. In addition to the father, there were two humble, honest, closely united families who are respected and liked by all of the residents in the community where they live, who were also victims of this crime. Those first impressions of both families were confirmed throughout days and weeks of intense and painful struggle: their natural talent, moral strength, and the courage to fight placed reason and right on their side. Four direct grandparents on the maternal and paternal side and the only surviving parent, with the aforementioned characteristics, and all of them, for reasons that will be more clearly understood later, closely united to the kidnapped child, furnished an unshakable legal, moral, and human basis for demanding his return back by all the reason and energy in the world.

By pursuing this line of action, we managed to gather a large amount of information that would serve not only in the struggle to free Elián, but also for all our people and all those outside Cuba who are following the case to have access to the evidence needed to objectively judge the principal characters, living or dead, involved in this drama. This is especially true with regard to the child's mother as well as to the person mainly responsible for organizing the misadventure that ended in tragedy, and the two survivors who have become instruments in the despicable campaign that the counterrevolutionary mob and their allies in the U.S. Congress are waging to prevent the return of the Cuban child.

Was Elián's mother, Elizabeth Brotons, a "gusana," a delinquent, a counterrevolutionary, a prostitute, an indecent and corrupt young woman? Actually, what do we know about her upbringing, character, behavior, ideas, her work, social prestige, and history as a young Cuban mother whose life was so prematurely cut short?

Elizabeth was born in Cárdenas, Matanzas province, on September 10, 1969, almost 11 years after the triumph of the Revolution, into a revolutionary and hardworking family. Like all Cuban children, she was able to go to a school, perhaps modest in material terms but with dedicated and increasingly qualified teachers to educate her.

She began studying at "Roberto Fernández" Elementary School in the municipality of Cárdenas, which she attended from kindergarten through fifth grade. She finished sixth grade at Emilia Casanova Elementary School in the same municipality. She then moved up to "Capitán Guillermo Geilín" Junior High School. During this nine-year period she maintained an outstanding attitude in terms of discipline, educational performance, and behavior. She had responsibilities as Head of Detachment and Geography Monitor. She actively participated in marches, cultural and sports activities, and agricultural work.

She continued her studies at "6 de Agosto" Polytechnic Institute in the municipality of Calimete, entering a secretary skills vocational program. She was unable to complete her studies due to poor health. She later enrolled in the "José A. Echeverría" Adults School in Cárdenas, where she completed her high school education with good academic results. She then went on to enroll in the Hotel Management and Tourism Polytechnic Institute in Varadero, where she graduated as a chambermaid with first-level English language training. She satisfactorily met all the requirements of this center.

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