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ElianWatch Archive: 5.00
National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru and John Miller had this to say on Time's recent Elian coverage:
There is a “cutesy” item about two pictures of Elian Gonzalez, one taken before the raid and another during his present captivity. Here is the text in its entirety: “The Cuban-American community was (again) outraged last week, when a new photo of Elian was released. Was it the Pioneer scarf instead of the TV-show T shirt, the lack of sunglasses or the switching of a $129 scooter for two wooden sticks?” Yes, the Miami Gonzalezes were a tacky bunch — so unlike the tasteful Democratic millionaires Elian can now spend time with.
Time's pro-Castro bias showed through.
Rev. Joan Brown Campbell in reference to Elian and his family said, "They want to go home so they can be free to do what they want to do." Is she just ignorant of Communist Cuba or so in love with Castro's "Workers' Paradise" that she can't see straight? People aren't free in Cuba. People can't do what they want to do. They do what Castro lets them do. If he wants people to go cut sugar cane, people go cut sugar cane. If he wants people to run the hotels and resorts that supply the island with much-needed foreign currency, people run the hotels and resorts. If Castro needs people for his army, people are conscripted. If Castro doesn't like what you have to say about the "Revolution," you're put in jail. People aren't free to speak out about human rights abuses, nor are they free to worship as they please.
The irony is that the U.S. government knows Cubans aren't free. In a report published last February, the State Department said, "President Castro exercises control over all aspects of Cuban life through the Communist Party and its affiliated mass organizations, the government bureaucracy, and the state security apparatus." The report goes on to say that the government controls "all significant means of production and remained the predominant employer." Yet, the U.S. government has acted as the muscle for Fidel by fighting to send Elian back to that totalitarian state.
"Strangers' Kindness Sustains Elian":
The Media Research Center (MRC) published a report examining the one-sided media coverage of Elian's struggle. The MRC found four patterns of media bias:
"Back to the 'Peaceable' Paradise: Media Soldiers for the Seizure of Elian":
Report's Executive Summary:
The Wall Street Journal's editorial board thinks Elian was moved to Washington, D.C. so Cuban officials have easier (and more quiet) access to him.
Because Cuba has no diplomatic relations with the United States (at least not at the moment), employees of its Interests Section office must get permission from the State Department to travel more than 25 miles from Washington. Wye Plantation is 70 miles away, making it inconvenient to drop in on Elián.
"Monitoring Elián González":
Jorge Rodriguez, owner of WWFE in Miami announced the "Wake Up America" billboard campaign. The campaign's goal is to "reach the Anglo and African-American people so they understand the problem of Elian and what really happened." The billboards will show the infamous picture of Elian being taken by a federal agent along with quotes from Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John F. Kennedy and will go up near 22 major U.S. airports.
"Radio Station to 'Wake Up' U.S. with Elian Billboards":
Elian's family is on the move from the plantation on Eastern Maryland to Rosedale estate just north of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Rosedale estate is closer to lawyer Greg Craig, and Cuban officals are frustrated that they have to notify the State Department every time they visit. Now, they won't have to. It also might be that Elian isn't taking to his "re-education" like Castro hoped he would. By being closer to the Cuban Interests Section in D.C., more psychologists and "experts" can "help" Elian overcome his "horrible" Miami experience.
"Next Stop for Elian: D.C.":
"Family May Leave Estate":
Albita Rodriguez in the Miami Herald:
I was born in 1962, and the first thing I learned at the early Elianesque age of 5 was to swear before my Cuban flag that I wanted to be like a certain Argentine [Ernesto ``Che'' Guevara]. My highest aspiration at that age of games and dreams had to be to love war, to provoke it and to feel that nothing existed beyond what I was being taught.
"I, Too, was Another Elian -- Hungry for Freedom":
Thursday (5.25), Janet Reno will visit South Florida to celebrate Florida's first women lawyers. Police are expecting plenty of demonstrators.
"Reno Visit to Draw Protests":
Donato Dalrymple filed a $100 million lawsuit against Janet Reno, Eric Holder, and Doris Meissner for "violating his Fourth and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights during the raid on the home of the relatives of Elian Gonzalez on April 22, 2000."
My first impression is that this isn't a surprise. When stuff happens, lawyers follow. But since Congress won't hold the Justice Department accountable for their horrible decision, a civil suit will have to do. I expect Lazaro Gonzalez's family to file a suit on their own.
Donato Dalrymple Sues Reno, Holder, Meissner for $100 Million:
Here's a small portion from Charles Paul Freund's article on the events on and around the Easter Raid:
Of course, if Reno had told the press or even Oprah Winfrey that "Federal agents have begun the process that will end in a Castro re-education facility," that wouldn’t have sounded so good. Better to pretend that a story has ended happily, than to admit that an unhappy story may be beginning, one that featured the armed connivance of the American government.
Helle Bering goes through some of the mail at The Washington Times. "Mostly, our readers were absolutely appalled at the abuse of government power on display on Easter Saturday when the raid went down in the early hours of the morning. They were deeply worried at what this means for the rule of law in the United States."
"The Elian Mail":
Here's why Congress should vote to condem the Easter Raid:
Republicans can teach the nation that Attorney General Janet Reno's sending of troops in at gunpoint endangered the life of precisely the individual she claimed to be assisting. They can teach the nation that the action was wrong, and probably illegal. And if there's a vote, there will be a record of those who thought the operation that snatched this small boy at gunpoint before the sun got up was okay. That's accountability — without which democracy, like an after-dinner parlor game, has little significance.
"Wanted: Congressional Backbone":
The Miami Herald finds Elian's indoctrination is "insulting and repulsive."
"Che Comes to Wye Plantation":
Castro is claiming victory. Who can blame him? He got the U.S. government to do the dirty work for him.
"Castro Boasts of Victory in Fight for Elian":
Any contact with Elian must go through Juan Miguel, i.e. his Cuban handlers.
"Castro's New Recruit?":
Rep. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) doesn't like the fact that a Cuban teacher is indoctrinating Elian on U.S. soil.
"Elian's Cuban Teacher Criticized":
Fox wants to put out an Elian TV movie by September. That's just sick and lame.
"Fox Joins Race for Elian Pic":
The Miami Herald reports on the legal briefs filed by outside groups.
"Elian's Right to Asylum Hearing Gains Support":
A picture shows Elian wearing a blue scarf. The scarf is a symbol of membership in the Cuban Pioneers children's group. Elian's lawyer Spencer Eig said, "I just think it's a horrifying thing."
"Pioneers for Communism, We will be like Che! Pioneers for Communism, We will be like Che!" is a common chant of children in Cuban schools. Proof Elian is being "re-educated" on U.S. shores.
"Elian Pictures Anger Exiles":
"Elian's Communist 'Indoctrination' Begins at Wye":
Elian's lawyers filed papers saying (correctly) that Juan Miguel has no parental rights in Cuba. "Castro and only Castro is allowed to determine what is best for Cubans and their families."
"Miami Relatives Say Elian's Father Lacks Rights in Cuba":
Tom Manos, an Irish-German-Greek mutt, got tired of so-called "pro-USA" people who any dissenters to "go to Cuba." He bought an ad in the Miami Herald to let the Cuban American community know that there are Anglos who support them.
"Protests Went Too Far, Ad Says":
The Cuban doctor who had drugs confiscated when she entered the U.S. last month left for Cuba. Dr. Caridad Ponce de Leon claims the U.S. government refused to extend her visa which expired last Thursday.
"Elian's Cuban Doctor Angrily Departs U.S.":
Mothers and children in Miami held a ceremony honoring Elian's dead mother Elisabeth Brotons.
"Ceremony Set to Honor Elian's Mom":
Political groups who oppose the Cuban embargo see an opportunity to link with farm groups to allow trade of food and medicine. The timing is right because pro-embargo groups have been weakened for being on the (politically) losing side of the Elian fight.
I have said this before and will say it again: the side that has been politicizing Elian's fight has been those who want him returned to Cuba. Liberals like Charles Rangle (D-NY) and the National Council of Churches have for years been advocating the lifting of the embargo. Now, with most of the public in support of Elian's return, these people are pushing for more trade with Cuba. The Sunday after the Easter Raid, Jesse Jackson talked about the whole Elian affair. He made quick mention of a father being with his son, but he mostly talked about re-examining the Cuban embargo. He even went so far as to say that if pro-Elian people really cared about the child, they should support ending the embargo.
While the pro-Cuban side spouts off on one of their pet issues for the last 40 years, Elian's defenders have tried to make the case that Elian has the right to live free. We don't throw around all this other baggage about trade embargos. It's a simple case of whether Elian should live under liberty or under totalitarian oppression.
"Cuba Embargo May Be Eased":
I found a small excerpt from Oprah's interview with Janet Reno.
"Janet Reno Talks to Oprah":
Jaums Sutton says that by waving Cuban flags and shouting slogans in Spanish, the Cuban-American community isn't generating support from the general public. "When I see protesters on TV in Miami or in Bethesda, where Juan Miguel is being held, I see a lot of posters in Spanish. I see a lot of Cuban flags. As an American, I do not see someone who is reaching out to me," writes Sutton. He's right. The tactics by the Cuban-American community haven't worked. A solid majority of the public thinks it's fine to send a little boy back to a totalitarian state. Much of the public doesn't see this as a battle of freedom vs. oppression. They see this as a family squabble between two parts of the Gonzalez family. Supporters of Elian must do their part in educating the public about the horrors of Cuba, and the fact that "parental rights" in Cuba is a myth. Flying Cuban flags doesn't get that job done.
"An American Explains Why Most Americans Are Not On the Side of 'Cuban' Americans":
In a still-relevant piece from last month, Charles Krauthammer sees Elian's struggle for what is is--one of the final battles of the Cold War.
The Elian case, however you may feel about it, has one virtue: It exposes the myth that the Cold War was anti-Communists all vs. the Evil Empire. In fact, it was a great struggle at home between anti-Communists and anti-anti-Communists. The anti-Communists won. Which is why we are so profoundly at peace today.
"How Elian Brings Us Back to Our Cold War Battles":
Since Castro's rise to Cuban power, the Left has continued to support the man. Norman Podhoretz puts the latest Castro defenders in context with their older brethren.
"The Fight Over Elian--and Castro":
Alan Dershowitz on the Elian case:
By giving the child over to the father and giving the father the opportunity to go into court and say, "I speak for my son," they have, I think, succeeded in making the case essentially moot.
Dershowitz also signed on to an ad in last week's Washington Post asking for Congressional hearings on the Easter Raid.
"Alan Dershowitz Says...":
I've linked to a mess of pictures from last Wednesday's pro-Elian demonstrations.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Sadako Ogata is one of those "useful idiots" who refuse to speak out on the horrors of Communism. In a speech in Havana, she praised Cuba for its support of refugees from Haiti and Latin America. She also thought Elian should be with his father. What she didn't do is blast Cuba for its horrible human rights record and for its treatment of dissenters.
"UN: Keep Politics Out of Elian Case":
The Clinton administration thinks it has a bargining chip to use when next negotiating with Cuba. They think after having Elian forcibly removed, they can convince Castro to allow Cuban families to reunite. Why should Castro agree to anything? With the U.S. government's help, he's on his way to achieving one of his biggest P.R. victories. A majority of the U.S. public thinks Elian should live under Communist totalitarianism, and there's rumblings over whether the Cuban embargo should continue. No need to negotiate when you're winning.
"U.S. Using Elian Case To Prod Cuba":
The Washington Times on Thursday's appeals hearing:
Even if judges decide to give Elian a voice of his own, Elian's resolve to win U.S. asylum has surely weakened since he has been put in the custody of a father opposed to that desire. It is very likely that the Justice Department had this precise aim in mind when it raided the home of Elian's Miami relatives to transfer custody.
"Judging the Elian Case":
The Miami Herald gets to the heart of the problem of the government's (and Greg Craig's) legal position:
Without a process to determine the child's best interest -- such as in a family-court proceeding -- nobody has had the opportunity to raise this question: Is Mr. Gonzalez's fitness undermined by the personal interest that Fidel Castro has taken in Elian or by the fact that this child will be raised in one of the seven countries the U.S. State Department labels terrorist?
The government wants to ignore this question because they either have a deal with Castro, or they actually think Elian would be fine living in a totalitarian dictatorship. Both reasons are abhorrent.
"How Fit is the INS?":
A complete transcript of last Thursday's proceedings.
John Derbyshire knows why the government snatched Elian under cover of darkness:
Why, it was an attempt to preempt the results of this appeals-court hearing--to get Elián away from the Miami family and back into the care of Cuban-government handlers, so that by the time the asylum petition reached the courts Elián would have "lost" his desire for asylum.
Derbyshire hopes the appeals court is angry enough with this government to not allow such violations of the separation of powers to succeed.
"The Only Hope for Elián...":
While 72.5% of the public wants Elian to stay with this father, 56.6% want Elian returned to Cuba. This is understandable. Most people want a boy to be with his father, but many also know Cuba is a horrible place. I want Elian with his father too, even though at times it may not sound like it. That's why the best solution is for Juan Miguel to defect with his family. Then all would fill their lungs with the sweet air of liberty.
But if Juan Miguel refuses to do the right thing and stay in the U.S., then Elian shouldn't be made to suffer for his father's wrong decision.
"Home And Cuba Not the Same Regarding Elian":
Thursday, outside an Atlanta federal courthouse, Juan Miguel's lawyer, Greg Craig had to listen to Cuban-American demonstrators shout, "Communist, Communist!"
"Lively Debate Fills Street Outside Atlanta Court":
Al Kamen knows the reason Elian visted the Bagley home in Georgetown last weekend:
Which brings us to the real reason Elian was brought to Georgetown, as opposed to a place with more ample street parking: The idea was to show the Gonzalez family, having seen a standard American country home, what a typical in-town American home looked like.
I think it was Elian put on display for a bunch of limousine liberals catching a glimpse of a "real" Cuban.
"The Elian Presence Among the Monet Class":
More from yesterday's hearing. One of the judges, J.L. Edmundson wondered about sending a child back to a Communist totalitarian state. "I worry there may be an inherent conflict of interest . . . where the parent resides in what our own State Department says is a 'communist totalitarian state.'" Government lawyer Edwin S. Kneedler answered that that was "not the sort of conflict of interest that could disqualify a parent." It is the U.S. government's stance that it's a parent's right to make his child live in an oppressive, totalitarian state. Would this administration have the same opinion if the parent wanted to take his child back to Nazi Germany? the slave-holding South? pre-aparteid South Africa? How about the strong possiblity that the parent has no free will in deciding what would happen to his son?
"Elian's Competence to Seek Asylum Argued in Hearing":
Remarks from Elian's lawyer Kendell Coffey from the Baltimore Sun:
"Before you this morning are the rights of a boy to be protected from a police state," Coffey said.
"Elian's Fate Now in Hands of 3 Judges":
Today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments on whether Elian should be allowed an asylum hearing. Juan Miguel's lawyer Greg Craig wanted the court to deny the appeal and "just get this over with." U.S. government lawyers agreed and said the INS had every right to deny Elian's request for an asylum hearing. Elian's lawyer Kendell Coffey argued that the INS violated its own procedures and said that if returned to Cuba he would be forced to repudiate his "traitor" mother.
No decision is expected for weeks. Elian will remain at the Maryland plantation with his father, step-mother, and step-brother.
"Battle for Elian Resumes in Court":
"Closing Chapter Starts for Elian":
Yesterday's rally was an affirmation. The 65 people who came reassured me that there are people out there who truly care about freedom. All of us took time out from their jobs and lives to voice their desire for Elian to live free. We carried big orange placards saying "Liberty for Elian" and "Keep Elian Free" and waved American flags.
At noon, Adam Mossoff, a student from the University of Chicago gave a speech. He emphasised that the U.S. was the first nation founded on a political ideal. That ideal is embodied in the Declaration of Independence. It's those beautiful words of Thomas Jefferson:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.
Great men like George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin pledged their lives, their fortunes, and there sacred honor to the American Ideal.
Now is our chance to defend the American Ideal. Instead of fighting for the liberty of a nation, we are fighting for Elian. Elian has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness because he's human. It doesn't matter where he was born or how he got to the U.S. In the U.S. Elian's rights should be protected. We know they won't be in Cuba. Cuba is a brutal totalitarian dictatorship that doesn't respect human rights--least of all parental rights. To argue for Elian's return is to reject Elian's humanity and to be in the dark about Cuba's lack of respect for parental rights.
If you attended any of the rallies across the country. Send me an e-mail and let me know how it went.
There was some good coverage of the rallys. We made a statement.
"Demonstrators Seen Coast-to-Coast":
"Castro Daughter Joins Elian Protest":
"This Would Be Illegal In Cuba":
"Elian On Broadway":
Today, I will be attending the rally in Chicago supporting Elian's freedom. I would love to see lots of ElianWatch readers attend, but if you're not anywhere near Chicago, try to go to a rally nearest you. Let's show the public that Elian deserves the same freedom and opportunity as anyone else.
Prominent intellectuals like Bill Bennett, Nat Hentoff, and Milton Friedman lent their names to an add in Tuesday's Washington Post denouncing the Clinton administration's Easter Raid. "Although reasonable people may disagree about who should speak for Elian or where he should live, there should be no disagreement that such questions, in this nation, should be decided with full respect for due process and the rule of law," said the ad.
A Statement by Concerned Citizens, Washington Post ad, May 9, 2000:
Lazaro Gonzalez's family will attend Thursday's hearing in Atlanta. Juan Miguel won't attend because Rev. Joan Brown Campbell said "he's not needed there."
Juan Miguel's handlers do not want him in Atlanta because they don't want him to meet with Lazaro's family. This continues the pattern of not wanting any contact with Elian's caretakers of five months. Are the handlers afraid that Juan Miguel could be convinced to defect?
"Elian's Miami Kin to Attend Hearing":
Donato Dalrymple asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to remove Kendall Coffey as Elian's lawyer. He says Coffey has a conflict of interest because of his ties to the Democratic Party and Janet Reno. Coffey was appointed as U.S. Attorney in South Florida by Reno. Dalrymple didn't consult with Lazaro Gonzalez before filing his request.
Dalrymple may mean well, but Coffey has been doing his best to protect Elian's rights. It's not Elian's lawyers that are the problem, it's a vague law giving the Attorney General wide latitude that is the problem. That is combined with an administration who so longs for some meaningful historic event that they are willing to sacrifice a little boy on Communism's evil altar.
"Fisherman Asks Court to Appoint Attorney for Elian":
Yesterday, Joe Lockhart rebuked last week's dinner party with Elian hosted by Smith and Elizabeth Bagley. "He [Elian] should not be exploited or paraded around for anyone," said Lockhart. He also balked at the suggesting that the party was a perk for big Democratic Party donors.
"Official: Elian Shouldn't Be Used": [via Drudge]
More on the family that hosted Elian and his family: Smith and Elizabeth Bagley, heirs to the R.J. Reynolds tobacco fortune are major Democratic Party contributors. They are also big opponents to the Cuban embargo. Last year, their Arca Foundation spent $600,000 lobbying Congress to lift the Cuban embargo.
One Georgetown resident saw the hypocracy in the dinner party. "After all the talk about how Elian was put on exhibit in Miami, the Bagleys were a party to this."
"Elian Gets a Look at Georgetown Fat Cats":
In a speech Sunday, Sen. Bob Smith (R-NH) said Elian was being drugged and called the Maryland farm where he is staying a "concentration camp." Smith's evidence for Elian's drugging is the confiscated drugs from a Cuban doctor entering the U.S. Other than that, there really is no evidence. There hasn't been any press access to Elian without the control of Greg Craig (and the media hasn't complained). But Sen. Smith does have a good point. He thinks that come 5.11, Elian will say he wants to go back to Cuba. The talking heads will applaud and accept the wishes of a 6-year old (but didn't listen when he told his father via home video that he didn't want to go back to Cuba). Drugs aren't required to convince a 6-year old to go back to Communist Cuba. Elian's wishes should factor in, but this case should be decided in a court where Elian's wishes can be weighed with his human rights and Juan Miguel's parental claim (including if he has any free will in this).
"Senator Says Elian Is Being Drugged":
The social worker and psychiatrist monitoring Elian will report that he is getting along with his father and step-family and friends.
"Court to Receive New Reports: Elian is 'Doing Well'":
Elian went to visit some Democratic Party big wigs last night. I doubt you'll read or hear about any outrage over Elian being traipsed around Washington, D.C. But you heard screams when Elian's Miami relatives took him to DisneyWorld.
"Elian, Family Break Seclusion, Visit Washington":
Elian has a new puppy to replace the one left in Miami. You won't hear any cries that he's being bribed like you did when he got his puppy in Miami. Also in the same story, Elian has lots of space to play. Good for him. I would like to know how the reporter knows all this. I'm pretty sure he didn't have access to the Maryland farm; no media have been allowed inside. My best guess is the reporter's being spoon fed by Greg Craig. Also, there's no mention of the daily visits by Cuban officials.
Craig is orchestrating the story very well. Elian and his family are off the front page. The story's out of the public's short-term memory. When the story does come back to life (court hearing, Congressional investigation) many people will just throw their hands up and say they're tired of it all and want it to go away. The simplest way to do that is say they want Elian to go back to Cuba. Craig is doing a masterful job of playing on the public's media fatigue and ignorance of the issue.
"For Elian, Quiet Maryland Farm Replaces Miami Center Stage":
World Net Daily reports that Fidel Castro is so obsessed with getting Elian because followers of the popular Cuban religion Santeria think Elian is El Egua. El Egua is a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and Santeros prophesied that Elian must return to Cuba or Castro would fall from power. An unnamed analyst described Castro as "a fanatical, superstitious, mentally unstable dictator." This may or may not be true; that's the problem with "unnamed" sources. However, it's not unreasonable to think that local Cuban religion may be the source of Castro's determination. Even though Communism is atheistic and anti-religious, Cubans are still a strongly religious people. The huge crowds the Pope received on his Cuban visit a few years proves that. Castro doesn't have to believe in any superstition of Elian being Jesus. He only has to believe the Cuban people think Castro's rule is dependent on getting Elian. Suppose Elian stayed in the U.S.? That might cause some people to think Castro is vulnerable and try to topple him. Such instability among the ruled would be dangerous to Castro's control of Cuba.
The intelligence source also said there was a deal between the Clinton administration and Castro. It dealt with an uprising of Cuban criminals in a Louisiana prison last December. The prisoners wanted to return to Cuba. Castro allowed it, something he never allowed previously. In return, Elian goes back to Cuba.
The goal of this deal is "So they can get back to bringing the new era of commercial growth to Cuba that he was counting on -- and that friends of Bill want," according to the unnamed source.
Take the prisoners-for-Elian deal with a grain of salt. At least until the unnamed source decides to be named. But the above thoughts on Cuban religion are plausible.
"Secret Deal Made to Hand over Elian?":
World Net Daily also has a story on the upcoming demonstrations in support of Elian next week.
"'Keep Elian Free' Nationwide Protests":
The cause of last months attack on Elian-supporting demonstrators by Cuban officials outside their mission in Washington, D.C. is in dispute. The Cubans say they were incited, the demonstrators deny it.
"Cuba, Protestors Dispute Assault":
Castro stooge, Ricardo Alarcon, thinks Lazaro Gonzalez and his family should be arrested for not giving up Elian.
"Cuba Official: Fla. Kin Kidnappers":
I will be down in Chicago 5.10 as part of the national demonstration to keep Elian in the U.S. If any Midwest readers are planning to attend, let me know. To find a demonstration site near you, visit Keep Elian Free's demonstration page.
At least two Cuban officials visit daily the plantation where Elian and his father are staying. Elian's lawyer (who still isn't allowed to see his client), Kendell Coffey, says the INS is complicit "in the current phase of Elian's indoctrination." The State Department says the visits are just a "Interests Section chauffeur bringing supplies," and they don't really care who comes or goes. Of course, the curious would want to know what those "supplies" are. The curious also wonder why the State Department doesn't want to know the activities of officials of a nation that's hostile to the U.S.
The same story went on to say that only visitors approved by Greg Craig are allowed to visit.
"Cuban Diplomats Visit Elian at Plantation":
Lazaro Gonzalez will appeal a Florida family court ruling that he was too distant a relative to ask for custody for Elian. Last month, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey threw out Lazaro's claim.
"Elian Kin Will Appeal on Custody":
Susan M. Ley, a social worker, and Paulina F. Kernberg, a child psychiatrist, have been chosen by the government to monitor Elian while he's in the U.S. with his father.
"Social Worker Chosen To Watch Elian":
House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R-TX) said he spoke too soon when he demanded hearings on the Easter Raid. DeLay also said, "We're (Congress) not trying to interject ourselves into whether Elian ought to be with his father or in Miami with his relatives or go back to Cuba." I know. That's the problem! DeLay and other House leaders should be pushing for legislation to make Elian a U.S. citizen. Quit backing away because the polls aren't friendly.
"DeLay Admits Speaking Too Soon About Elian Hearings":
Cuban-Americans flying the Cuban flag have bothered many people; especially those who want Elian returned to Cuba. When seeing an American flag flown upside down, one man said, "Those people came over here and we gave them food and subsidies, and they do this." In counter demonstrations, a sign read, "One country, one flag."
I understand why Cuban-Americans fly the Cuban flag. It's their link to a past where Cuba wasn't a totalitarian state. The flag was around before Cuba became Communist and it will be around when Cuba is finally free from its 40 years of hell.
I wish Cuban-Americans would refrain from degrading the U.S. flag. It tells the public that the Cuban-American community doesn't appreciate living in this country. That's far from the truth. Cuban-Americans are some of the most patriotic people around, but perception (and not necessarily truth) is what moves public opinion.
Tod Lindberg writes:
Are conditions in Cuba as bad as that? That's an entirely fair question. But we have at least established that there is no categorical imperative for father-son reunification, but rather the beginning of a serious moral inquiry involving a very real conflict between freedom and parental claims. That context is currently eluding vast numbers of Americans, and a competent Congress ought to be able to provide it without committing political suicide in the process.
U.S. Customs agents confiscated drugs from a Cuban doctor that came to the U.S. to see Elian. The doctor had Valium and Phenobarbital--both used to relieve anxiety and nervousness. Also perfect to help convince a small boy that the U.S. is a horrible place and liberty is overrated.
I may sound a bit crankish, but do not underestimate the capabilities of Communist doctors. For years the Soviet Union used drugs and other psychological methods to control dissenters, and Cuba learned its tricks from the Soviet Union.
"Cuban doctor brought sedatives to U.S.":
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is concerned about the use of government doctors as propaganda pawns. They have requested the names of all doctors involved with Elian's treatment.
"Medical Group Wants Disclosure of Elian's Medical Team":
Donato Dalrymple says the INS agents didn't knock on the door and didn't show a search warrant. If they would have "I would have opened the door to be honest with you," said Dalrymple.
"Donato: 'They Never Knocked'":
A few weeks back, Salon discovered ElianWatch.
"From Miami Streets to the Web":
Greg Craig asked the appeals court to stop Elian's asylum request. He says legal hearings could take up to six years. It would force "Juan Miguel to choose between his country and his son." What a choice: freedom or totalitarianism? Tough choice. Too bad Juan Miguel has no choice. Castro's making the decisions, not Juan Miguel, and not Greg Craig.
"Father's Lawyer Urges Court to End Elian's Asylum Bid":
Congressional Republicans still haven't decided to hold hearings on the Easter Raid. They're too busy looking at opinion polls and Election Day strategy to make a principled decision.
"GOP view on hearings is shifting Some fear they would be seen as partisan":
Last December, the INS first said Elian's fate should be decided in a Florida state court. A few days later, it changed its decision and said the INS would decide the boy's fate. The government claims officials on vacation and bureaucratic snafus were the reason the changed decision.
"Can Elian Case Alter U.S.-Cuban Dynamic? Custody Fight Renews Debate on Relations":
Fidel Castro dedicated yesterday's May Day celebrations to Elian and his struggle against "Yankee Imperialism." Elian's almost back in Cuba, and Castro is using him as a trophy showing his victory over the U.S.
"Castro Dedicates Patriotic May Day Party to Elian":
Congressional Republicans can't make up their mind whether to hold hearings on the Easter Raid or not. Now, it looks like there will be a short hearing on the legality of the raid. These guys are flailing in the wind on this issue. Notice that no one is mentioning any bills that would make Elian a citizen. If the Republicans were serious they would be pushing that kind of legislation.
"Senate Republicans Still Plan Elian Inquiry":
Around 100,000 people demonstrated in support of Elian at yesterday's march.
"100,000 March in Miami Protest Over Elian":
The raid against the Gonzalez's was a first for the INS. "We serve search warrants all the time, but it's the first time we've had to serve a search warrant to relatives who have remained unwilling to abide by INS instructions," said INS spokeswoman Maria Cardona. What the INS did has never been executed by local police and rarely considered. Janet Reno has set a new (low) standard for law enforcement.
"Cops Seek Safest Ways To Seize Kids":
INS agents celebrated their snatching of Elian by having a "Rescue Reunion" picnic. People ate, danced, and looked at pictures of Elian with his father. There appears to be no remorse at helping enslave a little boy.
"INS Holds `Rescue Reunion' Picnic in Broward County":
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