Castro's Communism and the Elian Case is colliding with the US National Interest
by Elias Seife
It has invaded every single Federal institution in the United States and it has created a legal and moral crisis as never seen before; the case of a 6 year old boy fleeing Cuba on boat with 10 other people. His mother and stepfather drowned in the odyssey.
Does the boy have any rights as an individual, in this case to political asylum, or does the father have all the rights and is he the only one who can speak for the child?
Is Cuba just another poor country or is Cuba a country that is enslaved by its political system?
Is Communism a morally acceptable political system?
Communism, by definition, has been proven to oppress and deny individuals of their universally accepted human rights.
Does the United States have the moral obligation to grant political asylum to any person fleeing Communism? Of course!
Using as excuse the 1948 Neutrality Act, for the last 30 years the US has protected Castro from external overthrow attempts, but should the US continue doing so? Castro has blackmailed the US before, such was the case of the Mariel boatlift. But nothing seems to compare to the current Elian case.
By looking at the Cuban Constitution, one knows that children do not belong to their parents, they belong to the State. Fidel Castro has said that when Elian returns to Cuba, the boy will be subjected to "psychiatrical evaluations" to assess the level of influence that was exerted on him by living in the US (a free society). Psychiatrical wards in Cuba are notorious for "reprogramming" their political opponents. Such has been the practice in many communist countries including North Vietnam when they tried to "reprogram" US Prisoners of War.
True that Castro has proven to be an effective leader, and has not posed a military threat to the US in quite some time. True that Castro has exported his Communist revolution to many countries in Latin America and has created great wealth to the US in the form of capital flight. When Castro's communism has reached other countries what has constantly happened is that the educated and wealthy citizens are the first to be granted political asylum and move to the US along with their resources; the Cuban, Nicaraguan and Venezuelan communities are prime examples. But the US protection of Castro has gone to far and now more and more people seeking political asylum are not the upper class. People from all classes are seeking to come to the "land of the free". Many of these people have become financial burdens to the US Social Services.
Granted, the US support for Fidel Castro has created unprecedented benefits to our country. But the side-effects are now becoming very dangerous to our National Interest. Illegal immigration and political asylum cases are at an all-time high. Castro and Communism has to go. We should now be promoting democracy and economic recovery for Latin America so that their citizens become less inclined to come to the US for economic and political reasons.
Bottomline is that if Cuba were not a Communist country there would have never been a Elian Gonzales case in the US. Elian would be happy living in Cuba; a free and democratic country. But now..., we are paying the price of protecting Fidel Castro for so long.
April 1, 2000