LETTER TO AN EDITOR FROM A CIVILIAN POW IN VIETNAM FROM 1968-73
by Mike Benge
Elian's Fate As Dictated by the Justice Department
A basic understanding of Cuban law is key to the question of whether Elian Gonzalez should be returned to his father in Cuba. Unfortunately, Washington politicians via the Justice Department are determining Elian's fate, rather than following the normal judicial process through the family court system of the State of Florida. Under normal conditions and in a normal society, one would assume that upon the death of the mother, the custody of a child would most likely revert to the biological father. However, this is not a rule of law in the U.S., for the father should first be judged to be a fit parent. In the case of Elian Gonzalez, and the rule of law in Cuba, the communist government--not Juan Miguel--is Elian's father. As Fidel Castro proclaimed, when Elian returns, the Cuban government, not Juan Miguel, will be Elian's father. And Fidel wasn't just blowing smoke. It is no wonder that "Elian's relatives attempt to stall" in turning him over his father-that is the communist government of Cuba (David R. Sands, WT, 4/11/2000).
According to Dr. Alberto Luzarraga, who has a PhD from the University of Villanova in Havana, "the alleged parental rights accruing to Elian's father is non-existent as they have been usurped by the State which assumes the right to educate, indoctrinate and to sculpt a child's personality according to the tenets of Marxism." Article 39 of the 1975 Constitution of the Republic of Cuba "Establishes state control over culture and education sustained on 'Marxist ideals' and for the communist formation of children. And Article 33 states, "The State grants special attention to the instruction of Marxist-Leninism due to its importance in the ideological formation and the political culture of the country's young students." …" Thus, brainwashing is dictated by the Cuban Constitution. In Article 6, the Union of Communist Youths is exclusively recognized by the State "to promote the active participation of the juvenile masses in the tasks of the socialist construction" of society." The Union of Communist Youths is akin to "Hitler's Youth."
During the Vietnam War, the systematic and brutal torture of 18 American POWs was carried out by Cuban officials in what was termed the "Cuban Program." One American POW was beaten senseless and later died as a result of this torture. One POW tortured in the "Cuban Program" has identified Fernando Vecino Alegret as the chief torturer. Alegret is now the Minister of Education in Cuba and will be in charge of Elian's education. He is the Minister of Education in regime that has spent 41 years in power and is "credited" by the Black Book on Communism with having sent 15,000 people to the firing squad-mostly political dissentients. Furthermore, the state Department has placed Cuba in its list of terrorist countries. Two of Juan Miguel Gonzalez's relatives are being held hostage in Cuba to ensure his return and to keep him from speaking freely and revealing his true desires. And the thugs at Cuba's interests section in Washington, DC will further guarantee this.
While the Administration touts world order through the UN, it is totally ignoring The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child that, in 1989, was ratified by 177 countries, and by Cuba in 1990. Article 3 "states that in all actions the child's best interests shall be a primary consideration." And Article 12 states "the right of the child to express an opinion and to have that opinion taken into account, in any matter or procedure affecting the child." These two articles are especially relevant in Elian's case, because it exposes how the Clinton Administration, using Janet Reno's "Justice" Department, has violated them. This convention repeatedly mentions the interest of the child as a paramount consideration and states in its article 9.1 that separation may be advisable "when competent authorities subject to judicial review determine, in accordance with applicable law and procedures, that such separation is necessary for the best interests of the child". Elian's father's parental rights are non-existent as they have been usurped by the State that assumes the right to educate, indoctrinate and to sculpt a child's personality according to the tenets of Marxism. The main body of Cuba's law and practice reduces parental rights to mere vestiges, and in fact, it renders parents nannies for the State. Therefore in this case, the best interests of the child is not to be forced to returned to Cuba for surly the communist government is an unfit pseudo-parent for Elian.
The Administration and its Justice Department appear not to take into account matters of Cuban law that are notorious, as well as international law, and are dealing with Elian's case on such a selective basis that their judgment is questionable. It is ironic that the Administration forcing Elian back to Cuba for obvious political purposes while it seemingly does nothing to get back the children of American citizens-- who are the legal guardians of their children--that have been kidnapped by their spouses and taken to other foreign countries.