Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.
Why Elián Should Stay
After visiting my ailing father recently in Miami and standing behind the barricade (and subsequently) in front of Elián Gonzalez's house, I feel I can expound a different perspective. Since you mention the 11th Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruling as well as the necessity of obeying the law we should review and ask ourselves what, in fact, is the law.
Between 1793 and 1850, the law was the Fugitive Slave Act providing for the return of runaway black slaves between the states. The law was not obeyed by many northern states on natural rights grounds (abolitionist movement), and the Underground Railroad circumvented it.
Returning Elián to communist tyranny also goes against the grain of natural law and is, plainly, unjust. The law of the land is the Constitution which grants Congress the power to pass laws (legislation), and in the case in question, the law is the Cuba Adjustment Act of 1966, a law passed the same year I escaped from communist tyranny and reached the shores of the land of the free. This law grants all Cubans, regardless of age, automatic asylum because they were (and still are) classified as political (not economic) refugees. In fact, thousands of Cubans left prime real estate and millions of dollars in property to reach freedom. (This is property Fidel wants to use in foreign investment and circumvent another congressional law, the Helms-Burton Act.)
Janet Reno's Justice Department should be enforcing those laws, not making new laws with the INS, a corrupt executive agency (i.e., notorious for violating the civil liberties of travelers and failing to preserve our borders against purely economic refugees in the west, etc.). Incidentally, international law also calls for Raúl Castro, Fidel's brother, indicted in Miami in 1993 for drug trafficking, to be extradited to the U.S. Is Janet Reno and the INS militating for his extradition? No. The Clinton administration wants to normalize relations with Cuba at any price - protecting Raúl and sacrificing Elián.
You mention Elián's father is "fit and loving of his son." But is he really? Although he was angry, is it "fit" to threaten to come to Miami and kill as many people as he can? Is it "loving" to want to take the child back to totalitarianism? He says he fears coming to Miami to pick up his son from his relatives' home, while staying in the Cuban interest section, a known nest of Cuban agents. Is that the normal behavior of a father?
And yet, he knows from life in Cuba that Cuba's "Code of Childhood and Youth" http://www.lanuevacuba.com/codigo1.htm states: "The communist formation of the young" is an "aspiration of the State." Teachers and political organizations must "foster in the youth the ideological values of communism" and assist "in the development of a communist personality" (Article 5). Moreover, the State must "protect the youth against any influence contrary to their communist formation" (Article 8). The Cuban Constitution is more apropos. It states that the children belong to the state http://www2.cuba.cu/gobierno/consti.htm.
If and when Elián is returned to Cuba, he will not "go in peace." He will go back to the totalitarian inferno-- -whence his mother Elisabet died trying to bring him to freedom!
Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.