View Full Version : Elian Gonzalez
04-22-2000, 08:13 AM
Good morning sorors and sisterfriends. I realize it is early but I have been awake for quite a while. My day has started on a sad note. About 5:10am EST Elian Gonzalez was forcefully removed from the home of his Miami relatives. It saddens me for many reasons: 1)I have a small child of my own and if anything ever happened to me and she was forced to be somewhere she didn't want to be and oppressed by the government of that place, I don't know what I might do. 2)This child's mother gave her life to get him out of Cuba, a place where she was obviously not happy and did not want to raise her child. 3)I read in People magazine that when Elian and his father were in Cuba, his father was not a part of his everyday life and did not contribute to his general well being. 4)I, only recently, understood that the Miami relatives are the father's, not the mother's relatives. Why couldn't Juan Gonzalez leave his child in the hands of his own family who could (and have)provide the child with opportunities not available to him in Cuba and let him live in a country where he can live free? Is it the child's well being that is at issue, or is it something else?
I realize that Juan may be under some pressure from the Cuban government, but he is here in America with his new wife and child. Could he not stay? His family in Miami had almost settled negotiations with him that would unite both families in one house. Or was that a ploy for the relatives to let down their guard? 5)This pains me because this child is now scarred. I hope you all will tune to CNN to see the manner in which this poor boy was taken from the home. I hope you will see the picture of the INS agent who found Elian and the fisherman (who pulled him out of the ocean five months ago)in the closet. I hope you will see the images of what the house looked like after the agents were gone, the bedroom door literally broken in half.
Now, how do we expect Elian to respond to his father? He doesn't really know him and now to be brought to him in this manner. I am not a psychic friend, but what will you bet that Elian will only be with his father long enough to figure out how to get back to Miami?
Sorors, I'm sorry this post is so long but, as you can tell, I have very passionate feelings on this subject. I'm very interested in your opinions.
(In case you are wondering...no I am not of Cuban descent http://www.greekchat.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif)
04-22-2000, 11:30 AM
I have an extremely different position than yours. I am GLAD that the U.S. government finally found its cojones and put a stop to this lawbreaking by these arrogant, publicity-seeking, fascists who call themselves Elian's caregivers.
From all the reports I have read, Juan Gonzalez was an integral part of his son's life, and Elian spent almost every day with him. That is not in dispute, despite what the People article may have said otherwise. And it's not as if Elain has erased all memory of his father, it's just that he has been BRAINWASHED by new clothes, trips to Disney World, and toys. Is that what's really important in child-rearing?
Why do you assume that his mother's wishes are more valid than his father's wishes? We complain and complain about how men aren't good fathers, they don't participate in their children's lives, etc. But when we see a man who is interested in maintaining a bond with his child, we question his motives. That is so hypocritical. Also, we may not like Cuba, but his father has had many chances to defect, but does not want to. He is a member of the Communist party, has a good job, and enjoys his homeland.
Why do we Americans act like we don't understand why someone would not want to be here? America, where we kill our kids, enslave black and brown men in prisons, miseducate black and brown children, pollute our air and water, ostracize the homeless, and spend hundreds of dollars on our kids' clothes and toys but nothing on their education. Contrary to what they taught us in Civics class, America is not necessarily the promised land for everyone.
If Elian was a black Cuban or a Haitian, you would have never known his name, because the U.S. would have sent him back without blinking. Why are white Cuban's claims of oppression more valid than black people's? This whole debacle is a result of the near stranglehold that the white Cuban exile community has on Florida (a swing state in the presidential elections, hence Gore's about face on the issue).
My only regret about today's action is that it didn't happen four months ago, and that Elian was exposed to guns. As for a broken bedroom door, I say the government should reimburse the Gonzalez family as soon as it receives reimbursement for the police personnel, barricades, helicopters, etc. that have been needed to keep those MOBS in check. One last thing: do you really believe in your heart that had Elian, his relatives, or those crowds been black, that the government would have used the same restraint for this long? There would have been jailed/dead black folks about one day after they started some mess.
Sorry for the book, but I am so mad that these WHITE LATINOS have been allowed to run this thing for so long, while BLACK PEOPLE are being killed by the government every day! Wake up, sorors and friends!
04-22-2000, 01:12 PM
Unfortunately we are not all of one mind on this issue. Soror pearlsNivy, I must agree with Soror Discogoddess. I agree with you both on certain issues. NO child should be exposed to the guns and violence that this young man has been exposed to over the past 5 months. I am certainly NOT a proponent of the Communist form of government and I do believe that if this child were raised in the US he would have more opportunities.
However, I believe that if this child were of African decsent the issue would have been settled A LONG TIME AGO. We would never have heard of the issue.
Yet despite all these "political" issues the one thing EVERYONE SEEMS TO FORGET is that this child has a father! It is the right of the FATHER to decide where this child should be raised. It is the right of the FATHER to decide by whom he should be raised. Also, the Miami relatives broke the law. They recieved Court Orders to return him to his father. Had they adhered to the law, then this mornings actions would not have been necessary and they would now still be able to communicate with the child.
If this child had been an American citizen born in this country...we would all be up in arms about seperating a child from his/her parent.
I must also apologize for this long reply, however I doubt anyone can express thier opinions on this issue in small, short sentences.
Much ivy luv
Soror Captivator #6
[This message has been edited by Captivator#6 (edited April 22, 2000).]
04-22-2000, 01:39 PM
In my earlier post, I expressed some very passionate feelings about the Elian Gonzalez situation. I want to stress that this is my opinion about that case, not my feelings about what Soror pearlsNivy wrote. Any strong words used are meant for expressing anger at what I see is a horrible situation, not anger at my soror's opinion.
Soror Capitavor #6, you said it best when you signed...much Ivy luv!
Just as a postscript, imagine the power people of African descent would hold if they did what the Cubans do: VOTE (political power) and MAINTAIN THEIR OWN BUSINESSES (economic power)!!!!
04-22-2000, 03:09 PM
I must first say that I am so glad that I have a place to go to hold intelligent conversation. Sorors, y'all just don't know how good it makes me feel to know that you all are there. It does not one inch bother me that your opinion is not the same as mine, I'm just glad you all are there and speaking up. Discogodess, no offense taken and I respect your opinion as I do that of our long lost soror Captivator #6 (glad to see you back http://www.greekchat.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif).
Anyway, I see what you both are saying about what if the involved parties were black. I also know we would not be able to have this discussion because we probably would not have known about it. After I finished my post this morning, I realized that a lot of what I said was emotion charged. I don't know if you have children or have children that you are particularly close to, but my move to post this morning was based on the disturbing images that I saw and what I imagined that child was going through. Also, I'm still coming down off of some domestic violence training I had to attend this week for work real glad that's over).
I'm feeling you Discogodess. There is a lot that goes on here in "the wonderful US of A" that just ain't right. And, yes we as a people have been hood winked, bamboozled and, yes, lead astray on more occassions that history can recount; but I believe strongly that our day is coming and what goes around...you know the rest.
Much love to all my beautiful and supremely intelligent sorors,
I have been following this story from the beginning. As a ESL Consultant/Educator, I have had the pleasure of working with people of various countries and ethnic groups.
To start I agree with the issue of "if he was black or Haitian". But we have to view these matters from a Cuban perspective, if we can. Now if memory serves me correctly, Mr. Gonzales and Elian spent weekends together often. Can you imagine the devestation that father felt when he realized his son was near death when rescued.
Now, as a parent, I disagree with Mr. Gonzales. Nothing and no one could keep me from going to Miami to get my child. DISCOGODDESS....you refered to the family in Miami as attention seekers (paraphrased) and I agree. However, Mr. Gonzales seemed to be enjoying living like a king for the past few weeks.
Castro took control of our country for a brief "three minutes" I feel. That is what upset me the most . Clinton, to me just seemed to passive about the entire ordeal.
I enjoy the conversation with my Sorors also.
Cuba is far cry from Matthews, NC....I am sure....May God give Elian a Peace that passes all understanding and guard his heart and mind.
TO WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN....MUCH IS EXPECTED.
04-24-2000, 09:53 AM
Everything surrounding the Elian Gonzalez issue is disturbing to me. I'm not going to state my opinion as to whether he should be with his father or with his Miami relatives. I do think that the situation could have and should have been handled a lot better for the sake of that little boy. He has been through enough tragedy watching his mother and others on that boat die in the ocean. Being carried out of a house (that he became used to) by strangers with guns pointed in his face. That was a horrible and disturbing sight to me and I can only imagine how emotionally disturbing that had to be for the child. I sincerely hope that during this custody battle for the child they put forth an effort to get him some counseling. Not a psychological evaluation, but some serious counseling to help this young child cope with and understand what is happening to him. He has been emotionally scarred and before putting him through more drama they (the government, his father, relatives, etc.) need to see that he is getting help for what has happened to him up to this point.
04-24-2000, 10:02 AM
I agree with certain things that each of you stated. I'm glad that Elian has been united with his father, however, I'm sorry that it had to come to this. I know he must have been frightened and I would not want any child to have to live through such an ordeal.
What made me really angry is how quick the Miami relatives were to get on an airplane and fly to Washington, DC to see Elian. If they were able to do that so easily, why couldn't they have taken that child sooner to see his father? I know that Juan Miguel Gonzalez has faced criticism for not coming to the United States earlier. If it were my child, I would have been here back in November. I don't want to be quick to judge because I don't know what issues he faced in Cuba from their government.
I also think the Miami relatives should stop pointing fingers at the government and share part of the blame themselves. For months, they boasted about how authorities or the father would have to come to their home if they wanted the little boy. For several days, they had defied a court order! They wanted things done on their terms, but the law doesn't work that way.
I agree that Elian would have more opportunities here in the United States, but he does have a father. I hope this family is able to heal, and who knows...maybe the family may decide to remain in the United States.
04-24-2000, 10:27 AM
Good morning all,
Soror Discogoddess, can you clarify what you meant by "white Latinos?" I'm curious. Also, please let us not forget that not all Cubans are from European (particularly Spanish) descent. A significant number are of African lineage. Let's not intermingle the concepts of ethnicity/cultural background with the complexion of one's skin (I'm Puerto Rican, so I've been down that road before). I can't help thinking that this kid is an issue because of the USA's former (and present) relations with Castro and it's regards for communism. Granted, the picture I saw on the cover of yesterday's Washington Post with a gun in the scared boy's face was not pleasant, but, as I understand it, there are several steps that could have been taken to avoid such a nasty/kid-traumatizing scene.
On a personal note, I think the father needs to get the kid of of this country. There MUST be something else going on in the country (as other posts have alluded to) aside from Elian. I'm also wondering if this kid is more trouble that he's worth. The media apparently feels otherwise.
My nickel and three cents,
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly."
04-24-2000, 10:43 AM
What I meant by "white Latinos" is those who are of Spanish-speaking, Latino culture but do not claim any African heritage. I have learned from my African-descended and European-descended Latino friends that certain Latino cultures, particularly Carribbean ones, make subtle, yet important distinctions based on race, similar to what's done here in the states. From my understanding, black Peruvians, Brazilians, Puerto Ricans, Cubans, etc. are treated differently and do not enjoy the same economic, social, and political stature as their countrymen who claim non-African heritage.
My point is that no matter where one is, black skin and African-descended culture are not valued as much as white skin and European-descended culture, and I doubt that the hardline Cuban immigrant community of South Florida nor the United States government would be making such a fuss over a little black Cuban boy, let alone a Haitian, or other African descendant.
04-24-2000, 10:56 AM
Fair enough, soror; thanks for your reply.
"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it turned into a butterfly."
We have to consider the fact that Juan Gonzales, although in America, still have to follow Castros' orders. Castro is determined to keep the American Gonzales' and the Cuban Gonzales'at odds. That is what is so disturbing to me. The fact that Castro can control Americans in America. Juan is not free to speak with his family.
The Miami family knows what Castro is going to put Elian through upon his return to Cuba. Because we live freely in America, most Americans have no concept as to what actually take place on that island.
We also have to face the fact,,,our government was and is not concerned about Elian.....They are more so concerned with Castro. As an ex-officer and wife of a retired officer, I never thought I would see the day that a Senator would be denied access to a military installation. Bill is out of control.
The fact that the family went to Washington, D.C., showed me that family really love Elian. When the uncle spoke, he spoke with conviction. Perhaps, I was just viewing the entire matter from a mother/officer point of view.
What do you think?
04-24-2000, 11:50 AM
From what I read in the newspaper yesterday, Sen. Smith was not denied access as a senator. He was denied access as part of the entourage with the Miami relatives.
No matter what happens, I know this much. God spared that little boy for a reason. We may not have the answers, but He knows. God makes no mistakes.
04-24-2000, 04:03 PM
My isn't this the heated little topic http://www.greekchat.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif. Disco i have to agree with you on this one. You said it and you said it well. http://www.greekchat.com/forums/ubb/smile.gif
04-24-2000, 04:32 PM
I don't agree with the manner in which the child was taken from the Miami relative's home...but I do agree that something had to be done! Janet Reno and other officials had negotiated with this family to no end. The Great Uncle told Reno and the government that he would not turn Elian over and would not take him to the airport to fly to DC...he was quoted in the paper as saying that the government would have to take him by force...and they did. The Miami family disregarded everything that they were lawfully told to do. They were calling all the shots! Personally I was tired of watching that mess on the news!
I live in Florida and on any given day boats containing Haitian immigrants are turned away and sent home. If Elian was a little Haitian boy and Haitians and African Americans were surrounding a house making a human chain and protesting in the streets...I truly believe the police and or the feds would have broke that up before it had a chance to get started!
I hope that Elian can live a happy life with his father and family. I am not sure that he will have the most comfortable life in Cuba but I am sure it will be better now that this case has been all over the news.
04-25-2000, 12:45 AM
Hello ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated and sisterfriends,
I am new to the chat forum but I felt the need to respond. Akatude, you are right in saying Elian was spared for a reason. Everything happens for a reason. Elian's mother risked her life so that her child could have better opportunities the United States is capable of providing. However we can not overlook one thing. Elian's closest of kin(his father). How would we feel if our child was denied contact with us or access to us. I'm sure he was wondering how his child was. I know if my child was found in cold waters I would want to see and make sure he was alright.
We must do what's best in the interest of the child. If this was an African American child or a child of color that was found they would have probably thrown the child back in the water and made him swim back to his native land.
In response to the force in which Elian was taken from the home I believe it was excessive and is something Elian will probably never forget. But the family in Miami could have prevented this. Elian was taken to see a medical doctor but what about Elian's mental state. Has he been taken to see a psychologist or a therapist? I am sure he is confused and frightened. He may even be wondering where his mother is. If he knows what happened to his mother he hasn't even had the time to heal or grieve from his lost.
If the family in Miami had the child's best interest at heart they could have taken the necessary precautions to ensure Elian's mental and physical state. Did they actually think they could go up against the government and dictate what they were and weren't going to do? C'mon. Let's be real. Perhaps they should be too.
Sorry for the long response.
Peace and Much luv,
04-26-2000, 02:24 PM
Speaking as a person who once lived in Miami, I was appalled at the arrogance of the Miami family and Cuban community. That is an arrogance that I observed in the two years that I lived there. They seem to have the outlook that Miami is a branch of their homeland and that they run the city. They honestly felt that they could go up against Janet Reno and the government simply because they make up a good portion of Miami. I was happy to see the government finally take a stand on this issue yet saddened that Elian had to suffer in the process. I blame the entire scene on the Miami family.
I do not agree with statements that Elian's mother would want him to stay in the United States. Yes she did attempt to bring Elian to the US for all of the benefits that this great country is supposed to provide, but that was with the mentality that SHE would be the one helping to provide that for him. She never said "in the event that I perish Elian should go to my ex-husband's family". She didn't even know these people and furthermore, her mother and mother-in-law were both in agreement that Elian should return to Cuba with his father. Now I don't know about you all sorors, but if you have the kind of mother like I have, Castro, Clinton nor anyone else could make my mother lie about what my intentions for my son are upon my death. Elian's maternal grandmother clearly stated that her daughter would be happy if her son were returned to his father. To me that clinched it.
Sorry if I sound a bit heated, just sick of the Cuban community's arrogance. I know it appears to be a community sticking together for a common cause, however if you lived there you would see that they really do have an arrogance about them. Cuban immigrants are greeted on the beaches with blankets and hot coffee by Gloria Estefan and her husband while Haitian immigrants are greeted with INS officials with guns. They literally hit the ground running hoping they can find a safe place to hide until one of their relatives can pick them up and harbor them in their homes simply because Haitians do not have political asylum in the U.S.
04-27-2000, 09:46 AM
Good morning all;
I have been trying not to respond to this topic because I am not that versed and knowledgeable about what is happening but Pinkice5 you hit the nail directly on the head with your post especially the your last paragraph, I should not have laughed but I did. It is so true about how the Cubans are rescued as opposed to Haitians. And I think we are all in agreeance that force was needed but that maybe shoving the gun in the kids face was a bit excessive! And from what I am reading we kind of agree that Elian should be with his father; his Miami family was taking it way toooooo far. It amazed me how quick they got on the plane to DC after this whole thing. And like I said in the sisterly forum, Elian's oldest cousin (Mary-something) is such a fake and she gets on my nerves It was 'almost' heart wrenching when she spoke out on TV about the whole act but beneath all that was this lady just trying to be today's hottest news, she will probably sue and get money from this whole deal.
Lastly, some co-workers and I just spoke about this at work, the kid is not going to go through that much trauma once he grows up, he is from Cuba and I am sure he has seen deaths and guns before.....that is just my opinion!
P.S. I think Juan is going to sneak this kid out before the May11 court date, and if he does stay around and they lose ...the Cuban in him might come out and something is going to go down. In the end I feel his son will end up back in Cuba with him!
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