Elian Gonzalez Turns 18, Calls 'Cuban Five' Spy To Celebrate

Elian Gonzalez is all growed up! Miami's favorite raft-boy turned Cuban propaganda machine turned 18 last night, and in proper Revolutionary fashion celebrated not with a pack of cigarettes or a bottle of rum from his parents liquor stash but with a phone call to Rene Gonzalez, a "Cuban Five" spy serving out his probation time in the U.S.

That Elian! If the Castro brothers can just hang on another couple years, he'll be old enough to really stick it to Janet Reno by taking power.

In all seriousness, you've got to feel bad for the kid -- first he spends months indoors with the federal government trying to kick him out and every viejito on Calle Ocho waving signs outside his window, then his face is plastered on every newspaper in the world weeping hysterically while some beefy mustached cop points an automatic weapon in his face.

Freud didn't even invent terminology for the mental condition that must have caused in a kid.

And that was before he returned to Cuba to live out his teens as a decaying Castro's favorite piece of anti-U.S. propaganda.

Gonzalez got to celebrate his 16th birthday by parading around in a military school uniform and pledging that he'd "shed blood to defend" Cuba.

Now, as he turns 18, the Castro regime has decided to use Gonzalez to publicize the Cuban Five case.

The five spies were caught two years after the Brothers to the Rescue plane was shot down by Cuban fighter jets in 1996. American prosecutors have charged the five with providing Cuba intelligence key to the deadly attack on the flight.

Yesterday, Elian caught up with one of the Five, Rene Gonzalez (no relation), who got out of jail in October but has to stay in the States for three years on probation.

"He wished me a happy birthday," Elian said, according to the AP.

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