On this Date in History: Elian Gonzalez’s only chance of freedom is stolen from him

In the early morning hours of April 22, 2000, President Bill Clinton and his Justice Department sheepishly submitted to the demands of Cuba’s Fidel Castro and violently seized a six-year-old boy from his uncle’s home. This excessive and violent show of force was carried out with one single purpose: to forcibly return the little boy to his slave masters in Havana.

Today, Elian Gonzalez has become what we all feared and knew the Castro regime would make of him: a propaganda tool of the Cuban dictatorship.

And it all started fourteen years ago when an innocent six-year-old boy stared into the muzzle of an assault rifle aimed right at him and his only chance of growing up in freedom was stolen from him.




5 thoughts on “On this Date in History: Elian Gonzalez’s only chance of freedom is stolen from him

  1. With every anniversary of this outrage, my contempt deepens for those who actively supported it and the subsequent infamy of turning over an innocent, helpless child to those who would inevitably harm it–and in the worst way, by poisoning his mind and taking away his freedom, turning him, in effect, into a painfully brainwashed and manipulated propaganda parrot for a perverse and evil system. Those in the best position to know what would happen warned of it loud and clear, but they were ignore, derided or demonized. It is now indisputable that they were perfectly prophetic, but those behind the dreadful deed washed their hands of it once they got their way and can’t be bothered to acknowledge they were wrong, much less express any shame or guilt over the consequences. It may be that some of them simply didn’t get it, but it’s at least equally likely that, for the most part, they didn’t especially want to–the prospect of sticking it to “those people” and putting them in their “proper” place was too enticing to resist.

    The Cuban exile community, of course, seriously underestimated the extent of the animus against it and the degree of the associated perversity, and in some respects fed into that based on the sadly naïve notion that being in the right trumps other considerations. However, despite the exceedingly bitter and disgusting outcome, some good came out of it. A lot of Cuban eyes were opened to an ugly, nasty reality, and many who had been unconcerned or unengaged with the whole Cuba issue were almost violently shaken out of their torpor and galvanized to become much more aware and involved. I am one such Cuban, but I have no thanks for those who wound up doing me a “favor” they never intended–as I said, what I have for them is ever greater contempt.

  2. Asombra, this is what Clinton was occupied with (among other things) while 9/11 was being cooked under his nose. It was extremely unfortunate and sad for the victims; yet, it wasn’t Miami but Washington D.C. who was put in its place the following year as a direct result of its priorities. They payed for it.

  3. Antonio2009, thank you for that article.

    How important to see that it was Eric Holder who played a big part in that terrible decision. They were afraid of the court and what it might come up with.

    What struck me at the time about Castro’s saying that a boy belongs with his father is that Castro did what he could to divide families and to have fathers and sons killed with ease. Even then I understood the hypocrisy in such a self serving announcement from the dictator.

    And such a thought also drove our esteemed professor, Carlos Eire, to write his National award winning memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana, which forever made every thinking person see the enormity of lie in Castro’s evil statement.

  4. About a month before the forcible seizure, Gabriel García Márquez wrote a substantial piece from Havana on the Elián situation, which was published in the Spanish paper El País on 3/19/2000. It’s possible it was his own idea, but it’s at least equally likely that he was asked to do it by you-know-who. I have thus far been unable to overcome my revulsion for the SOB and read the thing, which is no doubt predictably disgusting, but in case Carlos Eire wants to indulge his apparent masochism, here’s the link:


    (Caveat to Carlos: Note the prohibition at the very end of the piece)

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